NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported earlier today that the Detroit Lions were placing left tackle Taylor Decker on injured reserve and the team has now officially confirmed the news. In a corresponding move, the Lions have signed rookie offensive lineman Tommy Kraemer from the practice squad to the active roster.
In addition, the team announced they have elevated newly signed offensive tackle Will Holden from the practice squad to the active roster for Week 1, and re-signed WR Javon McKinley to the practice squad spot vacated by Kraemer.
Kraemer has played exclusively on the interior offensive line since he signed as a UDFA but he did start a season at right tackle at Notre Dame, so he brings a bit of positional range. More than likely, he will be used as depth on the interior, but the Lions are getting awfully thin at offensive tackle.
With Decker on IR, the Lions have just Penei Sewell and Matt Nelson as true tackles, though Halapoulivaati Vaitai has experience playing at both tackle spots and figures to be an option before Kraemer—who likely sits as a fourth option (at best) over the next few weeks.
In addition to his value as a player, Kraemer also brings the Lions roster back up to eight offensive linemen. This is significant because on game days if the Lions have eight active offensive linemen they qualify for an NFL rule that allows them to expand their game day roster from 46 to 48 players.
Holden’s promotion to the active roster for this week’s game also helps the Lions meet this requirement, as well as gives them more immediate tackle depth. He will give the Lions some roster flexibility if they need to make an offensive lineman inactive on Sunday. Holden’s stay on the roster will be short-lived though because after the game he will revert back to the Lions practice squad, per the league’s practice squad elevation rule.