The Lions closed the preseason with an ugly 35-17 loss to the Browns. Does it matter? Justin Rogers and John Niyo of The Detroit News discuss. Justin Rogers, The Detroit News
Allen Park — The Detroit Lions chose Matt Cassel over Jake Rudock to serve as Matthew Stafford's backup this season, but the team isn't ready to completely shut the door on third-year quarterback out of Michigan.
After clearing waivers, Rudock signed back as part of the team's 10-man practice squad.
A sixth-round draft pick in 2016, Rudock also failed to make the team's 53-man roster as a rookie, losing a camp competition to Dan Orlovsky. Rudock cleared waivers that year, as well.
He was promoted to the main roster prior to the team's Week 12 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings, after the Chicago Bears made an effort to poach him off Detroit's practice squad.
Rudock served as Stafford's primary backup last season, appearing in three games. He replaced Stafford late in a loss to Baltimore, completing 3-of-5 passes for 24 yards. He also threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown.
This preseason, Rudock completed 68.2 percent of his passes for 425 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. The downside to those numbers is they were inflated on late-game drives against third-string defenders, with most of the completions coming on short throws. His average pass length, 5.11 yards, was the lowest among 21 qualifiers.
In addition to Rudock, the Lions announced six more signings to the team's practice squad: Linebacker Alex Barrett, cornerback Mike Ford, wide receiver Chris Lacy, safety Rolan Milligan, linebacker Darnell Sankey and offensive lineman Dan Skipper.
The Boston Herald reported former Patriots defensive end Eric Lee would will be joining the group.
Undrafted out of South Florida in 2016, the 6-foot-3, 255-pound Lee appeared in six games for the Patriots last season, tallying 19 tackles and 3.5 sacks.
Former Chicago Bears cornerback Cre'von LeBlanc will also be added to the practice squad, giving the Lions one more opening to complete their unit. Offensive linemen Leo Koloamatangi and Brian Mihalik, who were both waived on Sunday, are potential options.