Tavai has struggled to adjust to life in the NFL. Under Matt Patricia and the Patriots-style defense the Lions ran in the previous two years, Tavai’s size was valued, but his speed was exposed on the field.
Under Dan Campbell and the Lions this year, they attempted to reform his body type and bring out some speed. Despite losing over 20 pounds to get to where the Lions wanted him to be, Tavai still did not seem to adjust to a defense that required more speed and instincts on the field.
According to Schefter, the Lions attempted to trade Tavai, but found no takers.
In addition to Tavai, the Lions are also waiving running back Craig Reynolds per Dave Birkett. Reynolds made an immediate impression in Detroit, rushing for 49 yards and a touchdown in the preseason opener just 24 hours after the Lions added him to the team. Reynolds remains a quality candidate to return on the practice squad if he can clear waivers.
Finally, the Lions also waiving defensive tackle Bruce Hector according to Tom Pelissero. Hector had a fantastic preseason, tallying four tackles and a sack in the preseason opener and closing out the preseason with five more tackles. Unfortunately for Hector, the Lions were just too deep at the defensive tackle position for him to make the final 53-man roster. He, too, would be an intriguing candidate for the practice squad should he clear waivers.