Lions place Griffen on COVID list; promote three from practice squad

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Everson Griffen has been placed on the COVID-19/reserve list, the Detroit Lions announced on Saturday. That means the veteran defensive end has either tested positive for the virus or came in close contact with someone else who did. 

The loss of Griffen is a big blow to a Lions' pass rush already down edge rushers Trey Flowers and Julian Okwara, who are both on injured reserve. Additionally, Austin Bryant is listed as questionable for the contest after missing the past two games with a thigh injury. 

Everson Griffen

Griffen, acquired in a trade from the Dallas Cowboys at the end of October,  has averaged 35 defensive snaps in his five games with the Lions. In those contests, he's recorded 10 tackles, 2.5 sacks and batted down three passes. 

To help cope with Griffen's absence, as well as other depth issues, the Lions temporarily elevated three players off the practice squad — defensive end Kareem Martin, offensive tackle Dan Skipper and safety Bobby Price. 

Martin, a third-round pick in 2014, has appeared in 77 games, including 21 starts during his NFL career. Most recently with the New York Giants, he signed to Detroit's practice squad in September. 

Skipper, meanwhile, provides needed offensive line depth. The Lions are down to their top two right tackles with Halapoulivaati Vaati on injured reserve with a foot injury and Tyrell Crosby ruled out on Friday due to the ankle injury he suffered last week against the Chicago Bears. 

Converted defensive lineman Matt Nelson is expected to make his first start on Sunday with Skipper serving as a backup to both him and Taylor Decker.

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers