By 4 PM Saturday, the Lions have to be down to 53 players on their active roster. Stay tuned here to our Detroit Lions 53 Man Cut Tracker while we update you on the cuts and comment in our Reddit community to let everyone know what you think about these early roster moves.
Friday 8:00 pm – Gabe Ikard cut: Gabe Ikard draws the unfortunate title of being the first cut from the 75 on the way to 53. This was not a very shocking move, as the center was behind two recent third round draft picks and was pretty terrible when on the field. If you want a recap of his time in Detroit check out my training camp evaluation on him from before the preseason.
Saturday 11:47 am – Brandon Thomas and TJ Jones cut: Two big moves to start off the day. Out of nowhere seemingly to start the day TJ Jones is cut after being allowed to rest during game 4 of the preseason, signifying he was seemingly totally safe for this roster. He was consistently rated as the #4 receiver across every roster projection available seen as a break out player this season, illustrating just how startling his early departure is. This bodes extremely well for Andre Roberts position in Detroit who offered much more in the special teams department. He will definitely find work somewhere later today with a WR hungry team.
Brandon Thomas was always a long shot to make the roster coming in late in the process but showed a little bit in that short time. He should make his way to the practice squad where he can be hopefully developed into something in the future. He was a promising player coming out of college so hopefully he can recapture some of that promise in a fresh new environment.
Saturday 12:00 pm – Jace Billingsley cut: The cinderella run is finally over. Billingsley showed a lot of promise late in games but never got opportunities against tougher opponents making his shot of making the roster very difficult. Still a slightly surprising move since he’s the second pure slot receiver to be cut today. Who exactly is going to backup the slot? I suspect Bostic will be kept and immediately put on injured reserve, opening a spot to bring back Jones after the 53 is solidified. Expect Billingsley to definitely be on the practice squad if that doesn’t happen though.
Saturday 12:15 pm – Khaseem Greene cut: I had Khaseem on the bubble of the roster since that last linebacker spot was somewhat muddied in the last few weeks. In the end the ex-bear didn’t do enough to show his worth from the others and suffered some injury troubles in the last meaningful time. Don’t think he’s practice squad eligible but I could see him catching on somewhere if there’s injury troubles as the year goes on.
Saturday 12:50 pm – George Winn cut: Not a very surprising move but at least we’re moving along. Winn was a long shot to make the roster heading into the offseason despite his special teams abilities, and then Dwayne Washington came out of nowhere to impress throughout the preseason. Winn should be headed back to the practice squad where he can always come back up and help if any injuries pop up.
Saturday 1:15 pm – Isaiah Johnson cut: Johnson, a fan favourite from last preseason, suffered from several minor injuries which derailed a promising start to camp. In the end he couldn’t secure a starting position I believe partially because of this factor and once that happened he just can’t match up to the special teams ability or diverse skill set of a Don Carey or Tavon Wilson. I really like the way he plays the game and I think the staff feels the same way. I expect him to be a top practice squad contender if someone doesn’t nab him on the way there.
Saturday 2:05 pm – Michael Ola cut: In another very surprising move, stand out replacement tackle Michael Ola has been cut. Ola had a very strong camp up until his injury and seemed to be a lock for the swing tackle position. This really makes you think the injury had to be a bigger factor then previously thought, especially when combined with the fact he would be limited to filling in only on the right side due to his measurables. This bodes very well for both Corey Robinson and Cornelius Lucas’s chances to stick on the roster. We could potentially see Ola hit the practice squad since he is eligible but I doubt he finds his way there.
Saturday 2: 58 pm – Jake Rudock cut: This is a shocking move by the Detroit Lions. Rudock looked solid in the preseason, doing better than Dan Orlovsky. Detroit is going to run with two quarterbacks this year. You have got to wonder though if Jake Rudock will be back on the team in the practice squad or if he gets picked up by another team.
Saturday 3:00 pm – Adam Fuehne cut: This move isn’t much of a shock as Fuehne didn’t do much to impress at camp and during the preseason. Detroit does need some tight end help with Pettigrew on PUP and Quarless suspended for the first two weeks of the season. Cole Wick is a name to watch for the rest of the next hour as it will be between him and Charles for the final TE spot.
Saturday 4:20 pm – Roster finalized: Well that was surprising. The Lions came in with 10 cuts to end the day, some expected, some absolutely shocking. There is zero chill in the Bob Quinn era, that is totally clear. Here are the final cuts:
Jayson DiManche: The Lions very recently picked up the linebacker to test him out and see if he was worth keeping around. He did not have much of an opportunity in such a short timespan and he met his end with the team. Hopefully he sees work with someone in the coming weeks.
Lemuel Jeanpierre: A little known player thats been backing up the center position for about half the preseason. While he improved slightly throughout camp, passing Ikard on the depth chart, he faced the same issue, being behind Swanson and Glasgow on the depth chart. The Lions weren’t going to keep four pure interior backups and with this move Corey Robinson and Cornelius Lucas both have a spot on the team.
Darrin Walls: Darrin Walls was projected to be a solid veteran presence in the secondary that could come off the bench and provide some support if needed. The veteran cornerback did not show much in his time in Detroit and it led to a quick dismissal. At the same time however I still see him finding work somewhere, he was never terrible just unfortunately not good enough to stick around in Detroit.
Quinshad Davis: A great practice squad candidate, Quinshad Davis showcased a great size-speed combination with flashes of exciting ability. However he is definitely not ready for the big time, hence his cut at the 75 man interval and return a few days later. I certainly look forward to seeing what he becomes in the future because he has great potential.
Zaviar Gooden: Gooden had a similar issue to that of Khaseem Greene, a little bit of injury trouble, a little bit of a stacked competition ahead of him due to draft pick commitments, and a bit of just not performing well enough. He has strong special teams abilities as a backup linebacker and hopefully he catches on somewhere else.
Luke Marquardt: Never projected to make the final roster, Marquardt offered some decent tackle depth to give the roster guys a break during the pre season. Unfortunately he has never lived up to the promise that he showed coming out of college, not being able to transition to the speed of the NFL game. All the best to Luke in finding a new place in the coming weeks.
Charles Washington: A backup DB that bounced around the secondary to try and define a role, Washington was simply too buried on the depth chart to have a realistic chance of making the roster. At 23 he’s young enough to keep working and catch on to something else down the road.
Gabe Wright: In a move that wasn’t surprising to hear but surprising in context, Gabe Wright was released from the roster. The fourth round pick that Martin Meyhew gave up a third rounder to go and get just a year ago never lived up to anywhere near expectations and is now out of a job. I still see him as a potential practice squad candidate but less of a sure thing then previously thought based upon a stunning move coming up next.
Caraun Reid: In the most surprising move in a day full of surprising moves, Caraun Reid has been released. The 2014 5th round pick had a really solid camp in my opinion, capping it off with a phenomenal 4th game against Buffalo. To see him released after all that is nothing short of stunning. My thought would have to be they gave Stefan Charles such a large guaranteed deal they had to keep him despite his less inspiring play (although he is more of a run stuffer to be fair) and they believed Khyri Thornton had a better camp. Reid should be a very quick pickup off the waiver wire for a lucky team, in many other places he would be the primary backup if not fighting for a starting position. All the best to Caraun going forward.
Jay Lee: A tough roster bubble decision, this move is more surprising not because of who was cut but what position was cut. With Lee’s end in Detroit that leaves only four wide receivers on the depth chart, a very surprising turn, which leads me to believe that one will be added shortly once Bostic is moved to the IR. Lee like Davis showed flashes and was a more polished overall product, but offers little to special teams reducing his value as a depth receiver. He should be kept on the practice squad and allowed to develop, hopefully he becomes something down the road.
Alex Carter: Another surprising bubble move, Alex Carter was a third round pick just a year ago, now he’s out of a job. The cornerback simply didn’t have everything put together after a year on the injured reserve and has a long way to go if he’s ever going to become a starting quality corner in the future. With guys like Dee Miliner and Justin Gilbert, early first rounders being moved on from, the corner position is certainly not as safe as it used to be. He should be available for the practice squad if the Lions want to keep him there and see if he develops into something.
With that here are your 2016 Detroit Lions, for right now anyways:
QB (2): Stafford, Orlovsky
RB(5): Abdullah, Riddick, Zenner, Washington, Burton(FB)
WR(4): M. Jones, Tate, Boldin, Roberts
TE(4): Ebron, Charles, Wick, Quarless(SUSP)
OL(9): Decker, Rieff, Warford, Tomlinson, Swanson, Glasgow, Dahl, Lucas, Robinson
DL(11): Ansah, Taylor, Gillberry, Copeland, Zettel, Hyder, Ngata, Walker, Robinson, Charles, Thornton
LB(6): Levy, Whitehead, Van Noy, Bynes, Williams, Bostic(IR)
S(5): Quinn, Bush, Wilson, Carey, Killebrew
CB(4): Slay, Lawson, Diggs, Bademosi
STs(3): Muhlbach, Prater, Martin
Offense: 24 Defense: 26