The Detroit Lions are keeping just two quarterbacks on their initial 53-man roster.
The Lions informed third-string quarterback David Blough that he will be released as part of the team’s cut down to 53 players at 4 p.m. Saturday.
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Blough made five fill-in starts for the Lions last fall, after Matthew Stafford and Jeff Driskel suffered season-ending injuries. He completed just 54% of his passes and threw more interceptions (six) than touchdowns (four), but played well in competitive losses to division rivals the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers.
The Lions signed Chase Daniel to a three-year contract to be Matthew Stafford’s backup this offseason, but still gave Blough a long look with the second-team offense in training camp.
“I think David’s done a really good job of handling the entire workload of everything that’s in right now from an install standpoint,” Lions coach Matt Patricia said earlier this week. “You get in the season, it’s very specific, it’s very narrow the focus, which he did a great job of that last year. And I would say just kind of mixing in all the little nuances and some checks and adjustments and protections and cadence and those things, you can really see his growth and development there with certain looks that the defense might give him that offensively we didn’t cover.”
By keeping just two quarterbacks, the Lions are taking something of a risk in a season where COVID-19 concerns are hanging over the season.
Stafford looks healthy and has had a strong camp after missing eight games last season with a back injury, and Daniel always was going to be his backup.
But if Blough gets claimed on waivers, the Lions will be short-handed at that position should something happen to Stafford or Daniel.
Acquired in a trade last summer with the Cleveland Browns, Blough is expected to return on practice squad if he clears waivers.
“I am proud looking back on (last year) with the challenges that we faced that you could go into every game thinking, ‘Man, I prepared as hard as I could, I gave everything I could to this week to put us in a position to have success when we took the field,'” Blough said. “Those experiences that I had with the challenges I think will pay dividends in the long run in my career and whatever opportunities come forth for me.”
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