Allen Park — The Lions released two players Tuesday to make room for their two waiver claims Monday, reducing their roster to 75 by the 4 p.m. deadline.
On Monday, the Lions claimed tight ends Michael Egnew from the Dolphins and Emil Igwenagu — whom they view as a fullback — from the Eagles.
To reduce the roster to 75, the Lions cut a pair of undrafted rookies, tight end Jacob Maxwell and offensive lineman Bryce Quigley.
Egnew (6-foot-5, 260 pounds) was a third-round pick out of Missouri in 2012, but he was only active for two games as a rookie with the Dolphins and did not catch a pass. Last year he was active for all 16 games, starting five, and caught just seven passes for 69 yards.
With Brandon Pettigrew, Joseph Fauria and first-round pick Eric Ebron on the roster, it’s difficult to see him making the team, but it’s worth it for the Lions to see if he has any untapped potential.
Igwenagu (6-foot-2, 245 pounds) will compete with Jed Collins and Montell Owens for fullback duties, and coach Jim Caldwell said he hopes he can play right away in Thursday’s exhibition finale in Buffalo.
“He’s one of those guys that he’s going to have to be a quick learner in order for us to be able to utilize him, but we plan on doing just that,” Caldwell said. “We’re going to put him under an intensive sort of learning curve, and hopefully we’ll be able to get him in the game and see what he can do.”
Igwenagu went undrafted out of UMass in 2012 but stuck with the Eagles on the practice squad. He was active for three games in 2012 but did not contribute statistically.
Both Egnew and Igwenagu are eligible for the practice squad under the new rules this year.
The Lions must trim their roster to 53 by Saturday at 4 p.m.