The Detroit Lions have declared their inactives ahead of their Week 4 matchup with the Green Bay Packers on “Thursday Night Football” and they got some very positive news with two of their top players: Left tackle Taylor Decker and running back David Montgomery are active and expected to start.
Decker’s return will allow the Lions to shift Penei Sewell back to right tackle, which allows them to play their best bookend tackles on the roster. Montgomery is expected to lead the running back rotation, which should help keep rookie Jahmyr Gibbs fresh and impactful.
The Lions entered Thursday with an open spot on their roster (only 52 players on the active roster) and made four moves ahead of the game. First, the Lions signed tight end/H-back Darrell Daniels to the active roster. Then, as anticipated, the Lions placed Matt Nelson on injured reserve. Finally, they elevated rookies offensive tackle Connor Galvin and safety Brandon Joseph from the practice squad.
In the end, these moves bring the Lions game-day roster total up to 54 players.
Because the Lions have eight offensive linemen active for Thursday’s game, they are eligible to expand their game-day eligibility roster from 47 to 48 players. Therefore, with 54 players on the game-day roster and 48 eligible to play, the Lions need to declare six players inactive for today’s matchup.
- FB Jason Cabinda (knee) — Ruled OUT
- RG Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee) — Ruled OUT
- CB Emmanuel Moseley (knee/hamstring)
- S Kerby Joseph (hip)
- DT Brodric Martin
- RB Zonovan Knight
Cabinda was ruled out on Wednesday and that is likely why the team signed Daniels to the roster. Both are experienced special teamers and while Daniels is officially designated a tight end, he has H-back experience at the NFL level.
Vaitai will miss his second straight game and will be replaced by veteran Graham Glasgow at the starting right guard spot.
Moseley is close to returning from a health standpoint, but because the Lions only ran walkthrough practices this week, they were not yet ready to throw him back in the mix. Expect him to get more practice time next week and be slowly acclimated into the competition for a starting outside corner role.
Kerby Joseph is trending in the right direction, but as Campbell alluded to earlier in the week, he’s not quite there yet. He’ll have a solid chance to return in Week 5 against the Panthers. Rookie Brandon Joseph was elevated for safety depth, but Ifeatu Melifonwu figures to be the next man up in the starting role next to Tracy Walker. If last week is any indication, rookie phenom Brian Branch will also pick up some of the slack at safety.
Martin continues to be a healthy scratch as the four defensive tackles on the roster remain ahead of him on the depth chart.
Knight was signed to the active roster last week to help fill in for an injured Montgomery. But with the Lions lead back ready to go, Knight will be inactive for this matchup.
- LG Elgton Jenkins (knee) — Ruled OUT
- LB De’Vondre Campbell (ankle) — Ruled OUT
- S Zayne Anderson (hamstring) — Ruled OUT
- CB Jaire Alexander (back)
- S Anthony Johnson Jr.
- LB Brenton Cox Jr.
- WR Malik Heath
Of note: Starting left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee), who was previously ruled out, has been placed on injured reserve on Thursday.