The Detroit Lions announced a move to their practice squad on Thursday, signing OT Will Holden and releasing WR Javon McKinley in a corresponding move.
Holden (6-foot-7, 330 pounds) was originally drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL draft. He played in seven games as a rookie, including getting five starts: three at left tackle, one at left guard, and one at right tackle.
In year two, Holden was released at cutdowns by the Cardinals and elected to sign onto the Indianapolis Colts practice squad. After just a few weeks he was released and signed onto the New Orleans Saints practice squad. He last nearly two months in New Orleans before he was released again. But over the final five weeks of the season, Holden returned to the Cardinals, was active four games, and even got two starts, one at left and one at right tackle.
In 2020, he joined the Baltimore Ravens, eventually landing on their practice squad and would be elevated for one game (Week 11). Next, the Colts signed him off the Ravens practice squad and elevated him to the active roster in Week 16 and he started at left tackle for them. He was released by the Colts at this year’s cutdowns and now joins the Lions.
Despite all his travels, Holden only has 11 career games played, though he did start seven of them, making him the most experienced reserve offensive lineman on the Lions roster.
With Taylor Decker nursing a finger injury, it’s possible the Lions are adding Holden to give them depth while he recovers. It’s also possible they’re not totally satisfied with the tackle depth and have been looking to add a veteran to help bolster the unit. Either way, Holden has a chance to stick on the practice squad and prove his value.
McKinley was one of three UDFA rookie wide receivers that got $100,000 in guaranteed money to sign with Detroit. Only Sage Surratt remains.