Lions place Hand on IR; activate Vaitai ahead of Titans matchup

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

The Detroit Lions made several moves on Saturday, ahead of this weekend's matchup against the Tennessee Titans. 

Most notably, the Lions placed defensive tackle Da'Shawn Hand on injured reserve, ending his season, while activating offensive lineman Halapoulivaati Vaitai off injured reserve after a three-week stint to address a lingering foot injury. 

Da'Shawn Hand

Vaitai, one of the team's top free-agent additions, had been battling the foot injury since the start of the season, missing the first two games. He's been on the field for fewer than 40 percent of the offensive snaps in 2020, but his return comes at a much-needed time with center Frank Ragnow ruled out Friday with fractured cartilage in his throat. 

For Hand, it marks a third consecutive year his season has been ended by an injury. As a rookie in 2018, he missed the final three games with a knee injury. Last year, it was elbow and ankle issues limiting him to three games. 

Lions offensive tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai

Hand had bounced back in 2020, appearing in Detroit's first nine games, before a groin injury sidelined him three straight weeks. Upon his return to the lineup, he suffered another ankle injury, landing him on the shelf. 

Additionally, the Lions signed offensive tackle Dan Skipper from the practice squad to the active roster, while temporarily elevating defensive end Kareem Martin, center Marcus Martin and cornerback Alex Myers from that unit. 

Detroit was permitted to elevate a third player off the practice squad as a fill-in for defensive end Everson Griffen who remains on the COVID-19 reserve list.