The Detroit Lions’ first public roster cut has been leaked. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Lions are releasing veteran defensive tackle Christian Covington.
Covington was signed by Detroit back in May to help bring some experience to the team’s young defensive line room. With seven years in the league and 32 starts, Covington entered training camp with a realistic shot to make the roster and was even repping with the first-team defense early in the offseason.
However, as Levi Onwuzurike got healthy and rookie third-round pick Brodric Martin started to improve, Covington steadily slid down the depth chart. In three preseason games, Covington tallied five tackles, 0.5 sacks, and a quarterback hit.
The Lions’ defensive tackle room has been one that is up for grabs. Beyond Isaiah Buggs, Alim McNeill, and Martin, it’s unclear how the Lions will fill out the roster. The aforementioned Onwuzurike has worked his way into the conversation despite many believing a back injury would threaten his NFL career. Benito Jones has also had a strong preseason and could justify a fourth or fifth spot devoted to the position.
With the Covington cut, the Lions are down to 88 players on the roster with 35 more cuts to go. You can follow along with all of the Lions roster cuts in our 2023 tracker.