Here is a recap of the roster cuts made by the Detroit Lions on Saturday as they established their 53-man roster for the regular season.
3:53 p.m. – Either the Lions are planning to carry two tight ends to start the year or Hunter Bryant is going to sneak onto the roster, despite a leg injury that’s cost him two weeks of practice time.
Multiple outlets reported earlier in the day that Michigan State alum Matt Sokol was being waived, while the NFL Network is reporting the Lions are also cutting Isaac Natua, a seventh-round draft pick a year ago.
The decision on Nauta is mildly surprising. After starting camp on the COVID-19 reserve list, and sitting out a couple more practices after he was activated, he appeared to be making positive progress toward retaining his job during the final few practices open to the media.
Nauta spent a good chunk of his rookie year on the practice squad before appearing in six games the second half of the season.
2:44 p.m. – News of cuts is picking up as the deadline nears, and in another mild surprise, the Lions are waiving quarterback David Blough. That item was first reported by the NFL Network.
After trading for Blough before the start of the 2019 season, the undrafted rookie out of Purdue was pressed into action due to injuries to Matthew Stafford and Jeff Driskel. It went about as well as expected, with Blough completing 54 percent of his passes and going 0-5 as a starter, but he had made clear strides in his second training camp.
If he clears waivers, he’s an obvious choice for a practice squad spot.
ESPN also reports the team is cutting defensive tackle Albert Huggins, who the team claimed off waivers last week.
2:32 p.m. – While it’s tough to classify it as a stunner, the Lions have surprisingly waived fifth-round draft pick Jason Huntley, according to ESPN.
Huntley had impressed as a pass-catching threat out of the backfield, while also showing some potential as a between-the-tackles runner. On the flip side, his blocking was clearly a work in progress and he had some struggles cleanly fielding kicks and punts, where he was initially expected to compete for a job.
The move likely indicates Ty Johnson will make the roster. A sixth-round pick a year ago, he took a lot of first-team reps during camp while several of the team’s other backs battling injury.
In addition to Huntley, the Lions are also waiving defensive tackle Frank Herron.
2:25 p.m. – Not exactly cut news, but the Chargers have reportedly come to terms on a new deal with wide receiver Keenan Allen. The four-year extension is reportedly worth more than $80 million, making him the second-highest paid receiver, by annual value.
This matters with the Lions engaged in extension talks with Kenny Golladay. Allen produces at a higher volume, but Golladay does more damage per reception, while scoring nearly twice as many touchdowns last season.
1:40 p.m. – According to ESPN, Detroit is waiving linebacker Anthony Pittman. A Wayne State alum, he spent last season on the practice squad and could be headed back to that role, assuming he clears waivers.
With two hours until the deadline, there are still another dozen cuts for the Lions to get down to 53. Thus far, there haven’t been any real surprises.
1:02 p.m – The NFL Network is reporting the team will waive running back Jonathan Williams. Added just prior to the start of camp, he got an extended look with D’Andre Swift and Bo Scarbrough battling injuries and the Lions limiting Kerryon Johnson’s camp workload.
Williams flashed some ability with the Colts last season, rushing over 100 yards in back-to-back games.
12:43 p.m – According to multiple reports, the Lions are waiving cornerback Dee Virgin. No one played more special teams snaps for Detroit last season, but with changing schemes under new coordinator Brayden Coombs, and top competitor Tony McRae having the more impressive camp, Detroit’s decision here wasn’t a surprise.
12:39 p.m. – Another wide receiver is headed to waivers, with the Lions opting to cut Victor Bolden. He marks the fourth wideout to be waived in the past few days.
12:24 p.m – The Lions are waiving defensive tackle Kevin Strong. An undrafted free agent a year ago, he had a great camp in 2019 to make the roster, appearing in eight games as a rookie.
With some depth concerns along the interior of the defensive front, particularly surrounding Da’Shawn Hand’s durability, Strong is another of the players being waived today who make sense for Detroit’s 16-man practice squad.
11:55 a.m. – With four hours until the deadline, things have been relatively quiet through the morning. The latest is the Lions are waiving undrafted safety Bobby Price, according to the player’s agent.
With the offseason being virtual, Price was playing catch up from the start camp, but there was clear progress with his technique as the practices progressed. At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, he has unteachable size, making him a solid choice as a developmental option for the practice squad.
10 a.m. — The Lions got an early start on the process, informing wide receiver Chris Lacy he was being waived Friday evening. And according to an ESPN report, the team is also cutting Tom Kennedy.
Both Lacy and Kennedy spent much of last season on the practice squad, but each had stints on the active roster. Neither cut is surprising given the depth the Lions have built at the receiver position this offseason, adding Quintez Cephus in the draft and successfully transitioning Jamal Agnew from the defensive side of the ball.
Kennedy, in his second season, made some of the more noticeable developmental strides of any player this training camp, showcasing vastly improved route running. Both he and Lacy are candidates for the team’s practice squad.
► Justin Rogers’ final 53-man roster projection
► Lions’ Patricia on cut day: ‘I hate it, it’s the worst’