NFL Insider Rand Getlin Reported Quandre Diggs Out For Season.
Well that escalated quickly. Last week the Lions surprisingly cut Johnathan Banks to make room for TJ Jones, who they needed to cover for an injured Marvin Jones. Quandre Diggs is apparently out for the season now with a pectoral injury, and the Bears were nice enough to give Banks some relief from the unemployment line in preparation for their game against the Lions this week. That leaves the Lions with a roster spot heading in to their playoff run. There are no easy solutions for filling it this late in the season, and even fewer good solutions.
Butler has served this role before, and is a familiar quantity to the Lions on special teams as well as on defense. Butler is not the greatest player, but he knows the schemes and was a key part of the 2015 late season push that fell just short. Just like he was last year, Butler has been on ice since getting cut by the Lions in the preseason, and he could be an option for the Lions to fill their void at corner.
Brown is a 31 year old veteran who was serving as the nickle corner in New England before he ended up on IR last year. Quinn was in charge of pro personnel and likely had a say in bringing the veteran in to New England. Brown was a corner in the 49ers defense that dominated between 2011 and 2013, and has experience inside, outside, and on special teams. He is the kind of versatile player with playoff experience that might do the Lions some good. The scheme in which he saw success is was based on the Ravens defensive, so Brown’s transition would likely be quick. The Lions defense is based on the same principals at the corner spot.
If the Lions were looking for something of a long term project to hold down the fifth corner spot for the remainder of the year and get a crack at camp next season, then Milliner might be an option. If the former first round pick is willing to come in and take on a special teams role he could be a reclamation project for Terrell Austin in the offseason. Milliner does not offer much as a corner right now, but the Lions have done a great job of coaching up lesser athletes than Milliner.
The Lions do a lot of the same things with their secondary that the Ravens do. Davis was cut by the Ravens on November fourth,when they picked up Chris Lewis-Harris off waivers from the Bengals. Davis tore his ACL in 2015, but was reportedly playing well to close out training camp, and made the Ravens opening roster. He may not be a starting caliber corner, but he is still young and coachable, which is what the Lions will likely focus on at the corner position.
What Not To Do At Corner
I am sure someone will suggest Antonio Chromartie, but he has been awful at every stop for multiple seasons at this point. There is not much chance that he suddenly changes that for the Lions. He also does not play special teams, which is a must for anyone the Lions bring in at this point in the year. They’re not asking Nevin Lawson to move inside and play special teams when their secondary has been the best position group on the team during the second half of the season. At least they shouldn’t be looking for a drastic shake up.