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Detroit Lions release Saivion Smith with injury settlement

Detroit Lions safety Saivion Smith has been cut after a valiant return from a scary injury in 2022.

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Detroit Lions announced on Wednesday they have released Saivion Smith with an injury settlement. The safety suffered an injury in Saturday’s preseason game and had not returned to practice since.

Smith was right in the middle of a roster battle for one of the final defensive back spots on the roster. Smith had been repping with the second and third-team defense in camp and was being used regularly on special teams.

The Lions originally added Smith to the team way back in December of 2021, when he made two late season appearances on special team. Last year, Smith spent the first month of the season on the practice squad before being called up to start against the New England Patriots. Unfortunately, on just the second defensive snap of the game, Smith collapsed on the field after suffering a serious neck injury and was taken immediately to a hospital.

After having surgery, Smith worked his way back and looked to be a serious contender to make the 2023 roster. Unfortunately, this injury is another setback in his career. However, the 25-year-old defensive back is trying to stay optimistic.

Smith could potentially come back to Detroit later in the season. Per NFL rules, Smith must wait the length of his injury settlement—which is determined by the estimated time missed with his current injury—plus an additional three weeks if he wants to re-sign with Detroit.

The Lions safety position is looking a little thin with third-year Ifeatu Melifonwu also nursing an injury currently. This could open an opportunity for undrafted rookie Brandon Joseph to make a run at the 53-man roster.

The Lions roster is now down to 89 players. While they could add another player to the roster, it’s more likely with just one preseason game left to go that the Lions keep that roster spot unclaimed. By next Tuesday (Aug. 29) the Lions will have to be down to 53 players on the roster anyway.

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