As the Detroit Lions head toward the preseason finale, head coach Dan Campbell says plenty of roster spots to be determined.
The final two roster cutdown days , starting Tuesday, will be tough ones for the Detroit Lions. Last year at this time, that would not have been said even as a surprise cut or two was made.
But the roster depth is better this year, and some players cut by the Lions won’t be easily dismissed by other teams.
Head coach Dan Campbell spoke to the media on Monday, and he was asked about the number of available spots as the active roster has to be whittled down to 53 by the end if the day on Aug. 30.
Dan Campbell notes difficulty in determining Lions roster cuts
I don’t know if I gave an answer, that it would be correct,” Campbell said. “There’s, I mean, 8-to-10. Somewhere in there, probably. It’s gonna be tough, it’s gonna be a tough deal this year.”
Tuesday’s move from 85 to 80 players could be made “easier” by decisions that can be made regarding the PUP and NFI (non-football injury) lists.
Rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams seems certain to be kept on the NFI list, miss at least the first four games of the season and he has been ruled out for Week 1. Defensive end Romeo Okwara (Achilles) and cornerback Jerry Jacob (ACL) are candidates to remain on the PUP list into the season.
Add fullback Jason Cabinda (ankle) and rookie defensive end Josh Paschal (hernia surgery), who are both on the PUP list and have been since camp started, and the Lions could just put five guys on the lists that would cost each player at least the first four games and be done with it on Tuesday.
Some roster spot battles for the Lions will go into Sunday’s preseason finale against the Steelers. And to hear Campbell tell it, there will be opportunities to win jobs right to that end.