Detroit Lions − desperate for DL girth − awarded Benito Jones; K Riley Patterson to Jags

Detroit Free Press

Dan Campbell said the Detroit Lions would use their high position in the waiver claim order to bolster their roster in any way possible. In the end, they decided they mostly liked what they had.

The Lions were awarded nose tackle Benito Jones off waivers from the Miami Dolphins on Wednesday, their only addition of the waiver process. The Lions were second in the waiver claim order, behind the 2021 league-worst Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jacksonville claimed five players Wednesday, including kicker Riley Patterson, who the Lions waived at Tuesday’s cut to a 53-man roster.

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Jones, 6 feet 1 and 318 pounds, adds size to a Lions defensive line that is small by NFL standards. The Lions have just one player over 300 pounds on their defensive line, 325-pound nose tackle Alim McNeill.

“I do think that we may need a little bit more girth up front,” Campbell said early in training camp. “I wouldn’t say that we’re not looking for that, or won’t be.”

Jones signed with the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent out of Ole Miss in 2020 and appeared in six games while splitting his time between practice squad and the active roster that fall. He spent last season on practice squad, and this preseason had seven tackles, including two for loss.

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The New York Jets had an NFL-high seven players claimed off waivers Wednesday, and the Chicago Bears made a league-high six waiver claims.

“Anywhere we feel we can upgrade, since we’re two on the claim list, we’re looking,” Campbell said Monday. “I mean, we’re looking anywhere, I mean from, shoot, we’re looking at halfback, we’re looking at tight end, we’re looking at O-line, we’re looking at D-line. Anything is available and if we feel like it truly will upgrade us and it’s somebody that we feel like would fit our culture and what we’re about, then we’re open to anything.”

The Lions also re-signed tight end Garrett Griffin and cornerback Saivion Smith to the practice squad on Wednesday.

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