Updated predictions for Lions’ 53-man roster
Allen Park – The third exhibition game is in the books and the Detroit Lions must now trim the roster to 75 by 4 p.m. Tuesday. The team got a head start on those moves Monday, releasing 10 players and placing rookie long snapper Jimmy Landes on injured reserve.
With that new information, here’s a revised projection for the Lions’ 53-man roster.
In: Matthew Stafford, Dan Orlovsky, Jake Rudock
Analysis: Rudock didn’t complete a pass (0-for-6) against the Ravens in limited work, but he was also victimized by a couple of drops from his receivers. The performance doesn’t hurt the overall evaluation, but it also didn’t do anything to further his case to be Stafford’s backup over Orlovsky.
OFFENSIVE LINE (9)
In: Riley Reiff, Laken Tomlinson, Travis Swanson, Larry Warford, Taylor Decker, Joe Dahl, Graham Glasgow, Michael Ola, Cornelius Lucas
Out: Corey Robinson, Geoff Schwartz, Gabe Ikard, Chase Farris, Luke Marquardt, Lemuel Jeanpierre, Brandon Thomas
Analysis: There’s not a more difficult spot to predict than the offensive line. The starting lineup is set, but there are a number of injury issues at play with the reserves. Robinson, Ola and Glasgow are all battling some type of injury. The severity of those ailments could impact the final roster makeup. For now, we’ve moved Lucas back on to the roster, at least until there’s more clarity with the unit’s health. Schwartz was part of Monday's releases. Thomas is the wild card after being acquired in a trade this weekend.
RUNNING BACKS (5)
In: Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Zach Zenner, Michael Burton, Dwayne Washington
Out: George Winn
Analysis: As expected, the Lions didn’t keep Stevan Ridley, releasing him well before cut day to give the veteran a better opportunity to land on his feet. That already happened as the Colts picked him up over the weekend.
WIDE RECEIVERS (5)
In: Marvin Jones, Golden Tate, Anquan Boldin, Andre Roberts, TJ Jones, Corey Fuller (PUP)
Out: Quinshad Davis, Jay Lee, Jace Billingsley
Analysis: Jeremy Kerley wasn’t going to make the roster, so the Lions moved him for offensive line depth heading into the fourth preseason contest. Jones and Roberts are versatile backup options and both continue to be in the mix to return kicks for the Lions. Davis was one of the players cut Monday and could be a possibility for the practice squad.
TIGHT ENDS (3)
In: Eric Ebron, Cole Wick, Brandon Pettigrew, Andrew Quarless (SUSP)
Out: Orson Charles, Adam Fuehne, Matthew Mulligan
Analysis: Quarless’ suspension allows the Lions to keep him an extra two weeks without counting against the roster, extending the time the team can evaluate Wick. Mulligan's surprising release on Monday could indicate Pettigrew is close to returning.
DEFENSIVE LINE (10)
In: Ezekiel Ansah, Devin Taylor, Wallace Gilberry, Brandon Copeland, Haloti Ngata, Tyrunn Walker, A’Shawn Robinson, Khyri Thornton, Caraun Reid, Anthony Zettel
Out: Gabe Wright, Kerry Hyder, Deonte Gibson, Quanterus Smith, Louis Palmer, Stefan Charles
Analysis: The defensive tackle group continues to be a tight race, but Thornton has played his way into a spot, putting an exclamation on the interview process with a sack and two tackles for a loss against the Ravens. That could bump Charles from the roster, which is surprising only because the Lions gave him $550,000 in guaranteed money this offseason. That’s a good chunk of change, but it terms of overall cap space, it’s not enough to justify dumping a better player.
In: DeAndre Levy, Tahir Whitehead, Kyle Van Noy, Josh Bynes, Antwione Williams, Jon Bostic (IR)
Out: Chi Chi Ariguzo, Zaviar Gooden, Khaseem Greene, Dominique Tovell
Analysis: The Lions like Bostic, or they would have already cleared the injured linebacker off the roster. He’s likely headed to injured reserve, and would be a strong candidate to be the one allotted player who is re-activated from that list, barring what happens the first few weeks of the season.
DEFENSIVE BACKS (10)
In: Darius Slay, Nevin Lawson, Quandre Diggs, Darrin Walls, Johnson Bademosi, Alex Carter, Glover Quin, Rafael Bush, Tavon Wilson, Miles Killebrew
Out: Don Carey, Isaiah Johnson, Crezdon Butler, Charles Johnson, Rashaad Reynolds, Keith Lewis, Adairius Barnes
Analysis: It’s a toss-up between Carter and Carey. Carey offers so much on special teams, while there’s still an intriguing ceiling with Carter, which merits continued development.
In: Sam Martin, Matt Prater, Don Muhlbach
Out: Jimmy Landes, Devon Bell
Analysis: Before being placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury, it was clear Landes was struggling. Muhlbach looked like he was going to win the competition outright, but the rookie's injury made the decision for the team.