Ahead of next month’s free-agency period, the Detroit Lions are making an effort to retain some of their own pieces. Last week, the team re-signed fullback Jason Cabinda, and on Tuesday morning, the Lions announced they reached a new agreement with linebacker Josh Woods.
Signed off the Bears practice squad midseason as part of the chain reaction following Jamie Collins’ release, Woods quickly became a key cog on Detroit’s special teams. He ended up logging 174 snaps with those units, finishing tied for fourth on the roster with seven tackles.
The Lions also asked Woods to take on a larger defensive role late in the season after injuries ravaged the team’s depth chart. He made the first start of his career in Week 14 against the Denver Broncos, recording a team-high 13 tackles in the loss.
“You want to play as much as you can,” Woods said after the game. “Fifteen plays every Sunday, it’s great and you can really contribute to winning football on special teams. It’s just as important as offense and defense, but you practice linebacker every day. You definitely want to go out there, you want to play. You dream of a bigger role everywhere you go, no matter where you are on the field.”
Unfortunately, Woods would appear in just one more game, suffering a neck injury in the first half against the Arizona Cardinals the following week. That eventually led to him being placed on injured reserve.
The re-signing gives the Lions some needed depth at inside linebacker. The only other player under contract at the position is Derrick Barnes, last year’s fourth-round draft pick. Alex Anzalone and Jalen Reeves-Maybin, who led the team in snaps a year ago, are still both scheduled to be free agents at the start of the new league year in March.