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Lions roster tracker: Josh Johnson wins backup QB job

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
The Lions face a 4 p.m. deadline Saturday to finalize their 53-man roster.

Editor's note: This post will be updated throughout the day. Check back with for updates as news becomes available.

Detroit Lions' Brandon Powell (10)

► 6:10 p.m. — The Lions still haven't released their final roster, but Josh Johnson has won the backup quarterback competition over Tom Savage, a source confirms to the Detroit News. 

► 4:34 p.m. — While not yet official, all signs point to defensive tackle Kevin Strong making the initial 53-man roster. An undrafted rookie, Strong had a standout training camp, particularly as a pass rusher. 

The accomplishment carries even more meaning when you learn Strong's father is battling stage 4 lung cancer and the two had made an offseason pact to fight for each other

In addition to Strong, cornerback Dee Virgin has made the team, according to ESPN. Virgin won the job over former second-round pick Teez Tabor. 

Finally, longtime special teams standout Charles Washington is being waived, according to multiple reports. That could mean the Lions intend to keep undrafted rookie C.J. Moore, who has an overlapping skill set with Washington. 

► 4:14 p.m. — The deadline has passed, but it might be another hour or two before we have a complete picture on Detroit's transactions. The team released its final roster closer to 6 p.m. a year ago. 

The wide receiver situation cleared up a bit after a source confirmed Brandon Powell has been waived. The dynamic slot receiver and return man, who stuck as an undrafted free agent a year ago, got caught in the numbers game despite a big kickoff return in the preseason finale. 

Other reports have the Lions waiving linebacker Anthony Pittman, a Wayne State alum, wide receiver Jonathan Duhart and center Leo Koloamatangi. According to the Detroit Free Press, the offensive lineman is being waived with an injury designation after hurting his knee against Cleveland on Thursday. 

► 2:46 p.m. — The agent of Isaac Nauta tweeted out that his client is being waived by the Lions.

A top practice squad candidate, Nauta closed out the preseason with a strong performance that included a 20-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown catch. He's the second draft pick the Lions have cut today, along with defensive tackle P.J. Johnson. 

► 2:05 p.m. — With the deadline to establish the roster less than two hours away, there still isn't any clarity on Detroit's backup receiver situation. Multiple representatives for players competing for the No. 4 and No. 5 jobs have not heard from the team or their client to this point.

No news is good news for players on cut day, but the Lions aren't going to carry seven guys at that position. 

► 12:35 p.m. — More Lions cuts have been trickling in early this afternoon, with reports defensive tackle John Atkins and linebacker Garret Dooley will be waived. 

The Lions obviously have a top-heavy defensive line group, and we're still waiting to hear if a relative unknown sneaks on to the back end of the roster. Kevin Strong, an undrafted rookie out of UTSA, and defensive end Jonathan Wynn both impressed during the preseason. 

More: Five possible Detroit Lions 2020 draft prospects: Week 1

More: Lions add fifth QB to roster, deal for Browns' David Blough

► 12:10 p.m. — Jake Rudock left Detroit for a better opportunity in Miami, but it didn't work out for the former Michigan and Lions quarterback. His odds for a job took hits with the subsequent additions of Josh Rosen and Ryan Fitzpatrick. 

Still, Rudock went 22-29 in the Dolphins' preseason finale and should get another shot somewhere. 

► 11:58 a.m. — According to multiple reports, the Lions are waiving seventh-round draft pick P.J. Johnson. The big, athletic defensive tackle is raw, but showed flashes of promise throughout training camp and the preseason. He's easily a candidate for the team's practice squad. 

Defensive tackle P.J. Johnson

► 11:42 a.m. — More receiver news. A pair of 2016 first-round picks, Josh Doctson and Laquon Treadwell, are both in line to be cut if they aren't able to be traded, according to multiple reports. 

It's unlikely either player draws interest from the Lions. Doctson is the more appealing of the two, given his inside/outside versatility, but neither player offers much on special teams, which coach Matt Patricia said is a desired trait with the backup receivers. 

If traded, both players have base salaries around $1.8 million for 2019. For context, that's approximately $500,000 more than the Lions gave Jermaine Kearse to be the team's No. 4 receiver this season. 

► 11:10 a.m. — According to Jay Glazer, the Seahawks and Texans have agreed to a blockbuster trade that will send star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to the Pacific Northwest. 

► 10:30 a.m. — It's still quiet on the Lions' end, but there have been some notable transactions coming in around the league.

The biggest name set to hit the market is running back LeSean McCoy. The six-time Pro Bowler is being let go by the Buffalo Bills after rookie Devin Singletary showed promise throughout the offseason. 

McCoy, 31, is coming off a pair of down years, rushing for a career-worst 3.2 yards per carry in 2018. 

In addition to McCoy, former Lions receiver TJ Jones is being cut by the New York Giants, while the Patriots are parting with receiver Braxton Berrios.

Given Detroit's current depth at the position, it's worth mentioning any name of note that becomes available. Berrios, a sixth-round pick a year ago, looked sharp during the joint practices with the Lions. 

► The Lions face a 4 p.m. deadline Saturday to get down to their 53-man roster.

The team already has made a few notable cuts this week to work toward finalizing their roster, including releasing running back Zach Zenner on Tuesday, and reportedly cutting former second-round pick Teez Tabor on Friday.

The Lions, who were 0-4 in the preseason, open their regular season Sunday, Sept. 8 at the Arizona

This post will be updated throughout the day. Check back with for updates as news becomes available.