Bagshot, England — The Lions made a minor roster move Wednesday morning, but the strange circumstances made it more difficult for the players involved.
After safety Jerome Couplin cleared waivers Tuesday, the Lions signed him to the practice squad Wednesday, and he will soon arrive at the Pennyhill Park Hotel, the teams satellite headquarters this week, to rejoin the team that cut him Monday.
The good news for Couplin, though, is devastating news for running back William Powell, who learned Wednesday morning he’d been released from the practice squad. Now, a day after arriving in London, he’ll have to fly back to the U.S.
“It’s a difficult thing to do and you certainly do not want to do it,” coach Jim Caldwell said. “A guy just gets here and then within 48 hours he’s heading back home.”
There wasn’t much the Lions could do to avoid the transaction. With injuries piling up at tight end, the Lions signed Kellen Davis Monday and waived Couplin because the undrafted rookie had become the fifth option at safety.
Couplin was subjected to waivers, and if another team signed him to its 53-man roster, the Lions would’ve lose the promising young player. Another team also could have offered him a spot on the practice squad to give him an option other than the Lions. Instead, the Lions took advantage of the chance to bring him back but had to send Powell home.
“That’s kind of the nature of our business,” Caldwell said. “The guys understand it, and I think if you’re up front and tell him exactly why and what the reasons are and those kinds of things, it’s a bitter pill to swallow but they understand.”