Lions' Hyder sheds nearly 40 pounds to land spot

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park — Kerry Hyder doesn’t know if his three-sack performance in the preseason finale was what put him over the top in his push for a roster spot with the Detroit Lions, but he knows it didn’t hurt.

In reality, he’s been stating his case for a job since last January.

Kerry wasn’t able to crack the roster last season, despite showing some potential, but was quickly added to the team’s practice squad. His performance in that role continually caught the eye of coach Jim Caldwell.

“I’d say, ‘We have to take a look at this guy,’ because every single week he finds his way into the backfield,” Caldwell said. “He was creating problems for us in practice. He just has this knack in terms of pass rush. He’s not flashy. The guy just hustles. He’s a guy with a high motor, he’s got a high aptitude for the game and he finds a way.”

The Lions finally found a spot for Hyder on the roster late last year, promoting him for the final game of the regular season, but he played just two snaps in the finale against Chicago.

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The Lions liked Hyder as a defensive tackle, but with a little more depth available at that spot, the team asked him early in the offseason to shed some weight and move to the outside.

Thanks to some help from his wife, former world-class hurdler Jasmine Chaney, Hyder’s physical transformation has been incredible.

“She really put my diet together this offseason,” Hyder said. “She was great just keeping all the day food out of the house.”

The end result saw Hyder drop something close to 40 pounds. After playing last season between 300-305, he’s currently at 265. He said his diet consisted of a lot of salads, chicken, salmon and rice.

The effort to lose weight mirrors his effort on the field. He was relentless shedding the weight in the same way he was relentless hunting down Buffalo’s quarterbacks last week. Combined with his consistent effort on the practice field, it was enough to crack the Lions’ 53-man roster.

“In a sense, I’m happy and I feel I accomplished something,” he said. “I do know my job isn’t done yet. I have a lot of work to do.”

Twitter: @justin_rogers