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Detroit Lions signing Darrell Daniels to 53-man roster—a new fullback?

The Detroit Lions are signing tight end Darrell Daniels from their practice squad, but it looks like he may be headed to a fullback role for an injured Jason Cabinda.

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According to his agent, Detroit Lions practice squad tight end Darrell Daniels is signing to the team’s 53-man roster.

At first, the transaction may look weird, as none of the team’s current three tight ends are on the injury report. However, this appears to be a move in response to an injury to fullback Jason Cabinda, instead. Cabinda popped up on the injury report this week with a knee injury, and he was downgraded to a “no practice” on Tuesday’s injury report.

While Daniels has predominantly played as a tight end in this league, but in his past 3.5 seasons with the Arizona Cardinals—playing under Lions tight ends coach Steve Heiden—he was regularly getting snaps in the backfield. Per PFF, he took 49 snaps in the backfield in 2021 and 67 in 2020. He’s also very well experienced on special teams, something that will be necessary to fill Cabinda’s role on gamedays.

Daniels could also very well help out at the tight end position. A veteran with six years of experience and 18 starts in his career, Daniels has been a decent pass blocker in his career. That could be of some help for Detroit’s beat-up offensive line.

The Lions already had one roster spot on the 53-man roster open from last week, so no corresponding move is necessary. Detroit is expected to open up an additional spot on the roster later this week when they officially place offensive tackle Matt Nelson on injured reserve following an ankle injury that requires surgery.

This move will open up a free spot on the practice squad, as well.

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