Per Tuesday’s NFL transaction report, the Detroit Lions have released offensive tackle Darrin Paulo and protected the same four players from the practice squad.
Paulo joined the Lions back in the Spring of 2021 and was in Detroit through training camp but was released at cut downs. In mid-October, he was re-signed to the team’s practice squad for depth, but with four tackles on the active roster, and Dan Skipper also on the practice squad, Paulo became a bit redundant. This is also a good sign Matt Nelson may be getting healthier.
Here is who the Lions elected to protect in Week 13:
- Steven Montez, quarterback
- Bruce Hector, defensive lineman
- Shayne Zylstra, tight end
- Aldrick Rosas, kicker
Montez continues to find himself protected, despite the Lions rostering three relatively healthy quarterbacks on the 53-man team. Starter Jared Goff is still dealing with an oblique injury—one he played through in Week 12—so this may be a precautionary move, while also speaking to the importance of the quarterback position.
Hector has been protected all season as he is arguably the most talented player they have on the practice squad. With the release of Kevin Strong 10 days ago, and Da’Shawn Hand (with an injury settlement) on Tuesday, as well as Jashon Cornell remaining on the reserve/non-football illness list, Hector is suddenly the sixth defensive lineman on the depth chart. With Michael Brockers dealing with a knee injury, Hector could find himself elevated if the Lions need depth against the Vikings on Sunday.
Zylstra continues to be protected as the Lions’ third pure tight end option, and guards against an injury to T.J. Hockenson or rookie Brock Wright.
Rosas was elevated in Week 11 and did a nice job kicking for the Lions against the Browns. While he was protected in Week 12, he stayed on the sidelines as Riley Patterson kicked against the Bears. As long as Austin Seibert remains on injured reserve and the Lions entertain a weekly kicking battle, Rosas will likely stay protected.