The Detroit Lions have signed veteran cornerback Anthony Averett to their practice squad, according to the team. Detroit finds themselves a bit shorthanded in the secondary right now after Emmanuel Moseley suffered a torn ACL on Sunday, along with Brian Branch nursing an ankle injury, and C.J. Gardner-Johnson remains on IR with a long-term pectoral injury.
Averett has five years of NFL experience, starting a total of 27 games combined with the Ravens and Raiders. A former 2018 fourth-round pick, Averett has had an up-and-down career in the big leagues. In his most active season—starting 14 games for the Ravens in 2021—he tallied an impressive 11 passes defended and three interceptions. However, PFF only gave him a 55.0 coverage grade that year, as he gave up 739 yards and three touchdowns through the air.
Since then, Averett has struggled with injuries. Last year with the Raiders, he went to IR twice. First for a broken thumb, then again with a toe injury just five games into his return.
This offseason, Averett signed with the 49ers early in training camp, but he was, again, placed on IR a week later. He agreed to an injury settlement and was released in mid-August.
Now presumably healthy, Averett adds some much-needed experience at outside corner for Detroit. While the Lions are okay with Cameron Sutton and Jerry Jacobs as their starters, their current healthy backups include two players who have never started an NFL game: undrafted rookie Steven Gilmore and (currently on IR, but ready to come off) Khalil Dorsey.
In addition to this move, the Lions also made three more transactions on Tuesday:
- Signed TE Anthony Firkser to practice squad
- Released WR Trey Quinn from practice squad
- Released CB Darius Phillips from practice squad
Firkser gives the Lions more tight end depth, as Darrell Daniels has taken over the fullback role for Jason Cabinda (injured reserve), and James Mitchell is currently dealing with a hamstring injury. Firkser is a five-year veteran with a total of 115 catches, 1,207 yards, and five touchdowns at the NFL level.