On Saturday, the Detroit Lions made a procedural roster move ahead of their Divisional round playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, elevating fullback Jason Cabinda and defensive lineman Tyson Alualu. Additionally, the Lions announced that they have signed Julian Okwara back to the practice squad after waiving him earlier in the week.
This has become a familiar roster decision of late for the Lions, who have leaned on the veteran to give Detroit some more experienced depth options down the stretch. Alualu has been elevated in each of the last three games (Weeks 17, 18, and Wild Card), making this his fourth straight. While this marks Cabinda’s third consecutive game elevated since he was removed from injured reserve in Week 17.
Alualu played on 22 defensive snaps against the Rams, and while he was not technically, listed as a starter, those were starter-level snaps based on the Lions' game plan. Alualu only had one tackle in the Wild Card, and a below-average PFF grade, but his veteran presence gives the Lions security in the middle of their young interior defensive line.
Cabinda played on just seven offensive snaps—including being a schematic decoy on Sam LaPorta’s touchdown—but he also logged 17 special teams snaps, an area he routinely thrives. His ability to contribute in all special teams phases—kick and punt return, kick and punt coverage, as well as field goal and extra point attempts—is a huge luxury, especially after losing tight end James Mitchell to injured reserve.
As a reminder, while practice squad players are limited to three elevations during the regular season, there are no elevation limits during the postseason. Therefore, as long as the Lions are playing in the playoffs, Cabinda and Alualu will remain as options to be elevated on game day.