The Detroit Lions closed out their preseason with a 26-17 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Friday night. It was another game where they let the starters rest and had the reserves and bubble players make their case for a roster spot. There were plenty of impressive individual performances across the board, and the team is going to have some very difficult decisions to make before cut day. They will have until 4 p.m. ET next Tuesday to trim the roster down to 53 players.
The roster has come a long way since this regime first took over, and it’s obvious how much the talent and depth has improved since last year around this time.
Today’s Question of the Day is...
Which Lions bubble player made the best case for a roster spot against the Panthers?
My answer: Steven Gilmore.
This is a really tough question to answer because I think you can probably list several players here that are going to make it difficult for the Lions to let them go, but Gilmore is the one that stands out to me the most. Gilmore was right on the bubble heading into this game with half of our staff having him making the roster in our last “Bubble Watch.”
As an undrafted free agent out of Marshall, and as someone vying for a spot in a crowded secondary, Gilmore had his work cut out for him during training camp. With Starling Thomas IV impressing and making headlines during camp, Gilmore flew under the radar. But with Emmanuel Moseley still sidelined, the Lions still needed some extra depth at corner. After Gilmore’s performance against the Panthers, I’d say his chances at a roster spot have dramatically increased.
Gilmore had four (!!) pass deflections against the Panthers, including a pick-six in the fourth quarter that was essentially the dagger leading to a Lions win. Prior to the preseason finale, Gilmore had a 61.1 overall grade via Pro Football Focus on 77 preseason snaps—ranked 18th out of 31 Lions defenders. It will be interesting to see if Friday night’s performance was enough to earn him a spot on the final roster.
Who do you think stamped their ticket to the 53-man roster on Friday? Scroll down to the comment section and let us know!