Mike Ford a surprise cut
The Lions have made their first surprising move of roster reduction week, cutting special teams ace Mike Ford, according to a person with knowledge of the move.
Ford played both slot and outside cornerback in training camp, but his real value to the team was as a gunner, where he was easily one of the Lions’ best coverage players.
Ford posted a cryptic message on Instagram early Monday, writing, “Thank you Detroit” with a peace sign. Several current and former teammates replied to that message, including undrafted rookie Jerry Jacobs.
“Love brudda,” Jacobs wrote. “Appreciate you for everything my dawg keep at striving for greatness!!!”
Ford surely will find special teams work elsewhere in the NFL, but the move could be good news for a couple other Lions on the roster bubble.
Undrafted rookie A.J. Parker, who took first-team slot cornerback reps the past three weeks (after Ford opened camp at the position), already seemed like a roster lock after shining in preseason games. But Bobby Price was fighting for a backup job after converting from safety to cornerback in August, and there could be room now for one or both of Corn Elder and Nickell Robey-Coleman, veteran slot corners who had disjointed training camps.
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Price is a talented special teams player who took first-team gunner reps opposite Ford most of camp. Elder missed time this summer with a hamstring injury. And Robey-Coleman was a late addition to the roster.
I don’t imagine this played any part in the move, which may have been more about fit than anything, but I think it is worth noting Ford was among the handful of Lions players who is not vaccinated against COVID-19.
Lions coach Dan Campbell is scheduled to meet with reporters later Monday morning, and Ford’s release will be one of the topics of discussion.
Breshad Perriman first big name released
The Lions have until 4 p.m. Tuesday to cut their roster to 53 players, but they made their first of what should be several moves Monday when they informed receiver Breshad Perriman of his release.
Perriman struggled throughout camp, both on the field and with a hip injury that cost him playing time.
He had two drops in last week’s preseason loss to the Indianapolis Colts and an offensive pass interference penalty a week earlier against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
If you’ve followed the Lions at all this summer, you can’t be too surprised by the move, even given the state of the Lions receiving corps.