Allen Park — The Detroit Lions activated defensive tackle Khyri Thornton off the suspended list Monday afternoon. To clear room on the roster, the team waived quarterback Brad Kaaya.
Lions coach Jim Caldwell was asked earlier in the day when the team needed to make a decision on Thornton, who completed a six-game suspension last week. Caldwell declined to offer specifics, only saying a decision would be made soon.
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But reading between the lines with the team’s roster decisions last week, it was clear Thornton was in the team’s immediate plans. The Lions only had three defensive tackles on the roster after releasing Datone Jones and Caraun Reid.
A third-round draft pick in 2013, Thornton joined the Lions as a free agent last season, appearing in 13 games and averaging more than 23 defensive snaps. The 6-foot-3, 315-pounder recorded 18 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble.
The Lions re-signed Thornton this offseason to a two-year, $3.3 million deal, which included a $325,000 signing bonus. In June, he was suspended for six games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
As for Kaaya, he had rejoined the roster last Wednesday, having been claimed off waivers from the Carolina Panthers. A sixth-round pick for the Lions, it’s possible the rookie quarterback could sign with the team’s practice squad if he clears waivers.