On Saturday, the Detroit Lions made two anticipated roster transactions, placing cornerback Emmanuel Moseley and running back Zonovan Knight on injured reserve. Both injuries are expected to be significant enough that they will end both player’s seasons.
Moseley tore his ACL in Week 5 of the 2022 season with the San Francisco 49ers and he worked diligently to return to the field. The Lions signed Moseley knowing that he would need additional time to recover but were hoping to have him back by training camp. Unfortunately, Moseley required an additional follow-up procedure that pushed back his recovery timeline. Then, to make matters even more complicated, he suffered a hamstring injury during his rehabilitation process, which further delayed his return to the field.
Finally healthy in Week 5 of this season, the Lions planned on letting him take the field in a limited fashion so that he could reacclimate to the game. In a cruel twist, Moseley tore the ACL on his other knee, on just his second snap of the game. The long process starts again for Moseley, and, hopefully, he will not run into as many obstacles this time around.
Moseley only signed a one-year contract with the Lions this past offseason, making him an unrestricted free agent once again, and potentially entering the market with two season-ending ACL tears in back-to-back seasons. There is still a chance he stays in Detroit—he was a quickly ascending player before the injury—but we likely won’t know more about that until 2024.
Knight was also injured in Week 5 after he lowered his shoulder into a defender that was making contact. Things looked problematic from the moment it happened: he left Ford Field in a sling that day, and it was later reported that his season was over.
Knight is also on a one-year contract with the Lions, but unlike Moseley, Knight’s status is restricted. As an exclusive rights free agent, if Knight stays on injured reserve through the end of the season, the Lions will have the option to offer him a league minimum contract to return to Detroit in 2024. And because this restriction is of the “exclusive” variety, he is only allowed to negotiate with the Lions, unless they release him from those restrictions.
These transactions open up two spots on the Lions’ 53-man roster, to which they have activated cornerback Khalil Dorsey from injured reserve and signed offensive lineman Dan Skipper off the practice squad ahead of Week 6’s tilt with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.