On Wednesday, the Detroit Lions were forced to make a move on their practice squad, after the Tennessee Titans signed defensive tackle Quinton Bohanna to their active roster. In a corresponding move, the Lions re-signed defensive tackle Chris Smith, who was originally signed as an undrafted free agent rookie last April, to fill the vacancy.
Bohanna was a key contributor for the Lions in a recent three-game stretch—Weeks 11-13—playing roughly 24 snaps a game. While he only averaged two tackles a game, he was a space-eater in the middle of the Lions defensive line and helped the Lions accomplish their goal of stopping the run.
“Bohanna’s a load in there, he is,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said. “And when he does things right and he plays with pad level and uses footwork and stays consistent, he’s a load, he’s hard to move.”
Because Bohanna had been elevated three times, he was no longer eligible to play for Detroit during the regular season unless he was signed to the active roster. That was viewed by many as a realistic option, seeing he was taking the field ahead of current defensive tackles, such as Isaiah Buggs, Levi Onwuzurike, and rookie Brodric Martin.
But alas, even with starter Alim McNeill landing on injured reserve, the Lions opted to keep Bohanna on the practice squad, giving their other defensive tackles a shot to replace McNeill’s role. That left Bohanna eligible to be poached by the Titans.
Smith will give the Lions more practice depth at defensive tackle, and his familiarity with the scheme should allow for a smooth transition—he was originally part of the Lions' original practice squad, though he was released before October.