Lions waive WR Billingsley, OL Thomas

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park -- The Detroit Lions continued Saturday's roster purge, waiving wide receiver Jace Billingsley and offensive lineman Brandon Thomas. The Thomas news is courtesy of the NFL Network.

Billingsley had been a standout during the preseason. The undersized receiver from NAIA college Eastern Oregon flashed surprising big-play ability, catching 12 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns. He also showed potential as a return man, handling both punts and kicks during the exhibition slate, bringing one kickoff back 40 yards.

The 5-foot-8 dynamo led the Lions with seven receptions for 80 yards in the finale against the Buffalo Bills, including an impressive one-handed touchdown grab on a pass from quarterback Jake Rudock.

Thomas was acquired in earlier in the week from the San Francisco 49ers, in exchange for wide receiver Jeremy Kerley. A former third-round draft pick, Thomas failed to crack the lineup during his two years in San Francisco. Despite the short week of practice, he started at right guard for the Lions against the Bills and played every offensive snap.

Thomas and Billingsley join wide receiver TJ Jones as the known cuts from Saturday as the Lions work to establish their 53-man roster by 4 p.m.. Along with center Gabe Ikard, who was let go Friday night, the roster currently sits at 71.

Lions surprisingly cut WR TJ Jones