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'Great to be back': Lions sign tight end Tim Wright

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Newly acquired tight end Tim Wright comes back to the Lions during Wednesday's training camp.

Allen Park – For the first time in nearly 15 months, tight end Tim Wright took the practice field for the Detroit Lions. The team announced the signing Wednesday morning, waiving tight end Brandon Barnes in a corresponding move.

The Lions initially acquired Wright in a 2015 trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He appeared in nine games that year, catching nine passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns. He was primed for a bigger role last season, but suffered an ACL tear in May, landing him on injured reserve.

His best season came in 2013, as a rookie in New England, when recorded 54 receptions for 571 yards and five touchdowns.

Detroit wasted little time thrusting Wright back into the mix, working him into the first-team offense at points during Wednesday’s practice. Coming off the field, he was all smiles.

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“It feels great to be back home,” Wright said. “I left a lot on the field last year, some unfinished business. … My heart is here. Everything in my drawer is all Lions stuff. All the other teams I’ve been on, that stuff is in the storage. I’m ready to be a Lion again.”

Although injuries have hampered the unit the first week of training camp, Wright enters a crowded mix. Eric Ebron, once he returns from a hamstring strain, is the clear-cut starter, with Darren Fells holding down the blocking role previously manned by Brandon Pettigrew. Rookie Michael Roberts and second-year man Cole Wick have also been making strong cases for roles.

While Wright was out of football, he continued to oversee his barber shop, The Wright Cut, that opened on the campus of Rutgers University in 2016.

First glimpse

The Lions released the team’s first unofficial depth chart on Wednesday, leading up to preseason opener with the Indianapolis Colts.

After splitting reps throughout training camp, Greg Robinson is listed as the starting left tackle, ahead of Cyrus Kouandjio. Similarly, Antwione Williams was listed as the top strongside linebacker over Brandon Copeland.

Robinson and Williams remain the favorites to win those jobs.

Twitter: @justin_rogers