The Detroit Lions shuffled tight ends as part of a slew of roster moves Tuesday, signing Jared Pinkney off the Los Angeles Rams practice squad and placing Brock Wright on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Wright had been the Lions’ only healthy tight end after T.J. Hockenson opted to undergo season-ending thumb surgery Dec. 16 and Shane Zylstra and Jason Cabinda suffered knee injuries in last week’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
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Zylstra broke his left kneecap and is out for the season, while Lions coach Dan Campbell said Monday there is a possibility Cabinda could return for the Lions’ Jan. 9 season finale against the Green Bay Packers.
Pinkney, who went undrafted out of Vanderbilt in 2020, could play Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.
He spent about a month on the Lions’ practice squad earlier this year, but has never appeared in an NFL game.
The Lions have two other tight ends on the practice squad: Former Michigan tight end Nick Eubanks and Ross Travis, who they signed Tuesday.
The Lions (2-12-1) also placed linebacker Josh Woods on season-ending injured reserve with a neck injury, signed linebacker Curtis Bolton from the practice squad the active roster, designated defensive lineman Jason Cornell to return from the non-football injury list, signed wide receiver Juwan Green to the practice squad and released cornerback Chris Williamson from the practice squad.
To create cap space for all their moves, ESPN reported Tuesday the Lions did a simple restructure of offensive lineman Halapoulivaati Vaitai’s contract, converting $1.335 million of his base salary into a singing bonus.
The Lions had less than $600,000 in cap space entering Tuesday, according to NFLPA records.