Detroit Lions practice squad and waiver wire tracker: Updates and analysis

SideLion Report

As the Detroit Lions waiver claims come in and the practice squad is determined, here’s our tracker of the moves. 

The Detroit Lions’ 53-man roster appears to be pretty well honed, with waiver wire claims and the practice squad to be determined. A couple of their final cuts could make it back to their practice squad, quarterback David Blough and cornerback AJ Parker.

After Tuesday’s final cuts around the NFL, waiver claims were processed on Wednesday. Here’s what the Lions have done, with who will fill out the 16-man practice squad to be updated

Detroit Lions waiver claim and practice squad tracker

Waiver Claims:

DT Benito Jones

Jones was signed by the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent in 2020, and he appeared in six games as a rookie. He spent all of last season on Miami’s practice squad, then was part of their final cuts on Tuesday. At over 300 pounds, he fits the bill of “girth” along the defensive line that Lions head coach Dan Campbell outlined early in training camp. At a glance Jones appeared set to replace Levi Onwuzurike (back/hip) on the 53-man roster, with the second-year man likely headed for IR. At least early, not so much, apparently.

And there is this, regarding the roster maneuvering.

Update: According to Dave Birkett of The Detroit Free Press, running back Jermar Jefferson was waiver to make room for Jones.

Practice Squad:

Update: The Lions announced 13 practice squad members on Thursday afternoon.

TE Garrett Griffin

Griffin was signed by the Lions as a free agent in March, but he was a cut early when the roster was trimmed from 90 to 80.

CB Saivion Smith

For a time, it seemed Smith had some chance to make the Lions’ 53-man roster. But he’s back on the practice squad, as a depth option with some potential.

CB AJ Parker

Not a big surprise here, though it is a slight surprise Parker went unclaimed after starting seven games for the Lions last season as an undrafted rookie. The hope to get him back on the practice squad has come to fruition.

WR Tom Kennedy

A preseason star for the Lions, Kennedy was a somewhat controversial cut among the final cuts. But he’s back on the practice squad, which was absolutely going to happen if no other team claimed him.

RB Justin Jackson

Jackson did well after the Lions signed him early in camp, but he didn’t make the 53-man roster. Good fortune brought him back on the practice squad though, after no one else made a move to get him. It would not be surprising to see him on the active roster plenty during the season, and make some kind of impact.

LB James Houston 

Houston transitioned from off-ball linebacker to edge rusher at Jackson State last season. He was a bit of project when the Lions drafted him, and that makes him a perfect practice squad player.

One former Lion was claimed off waivers, as the Jacksonville Jaguars got kicker Riley Patterson.

Full Practice Squad (Updated as needed):
TE Garrett Griffin
CB Saivion Smith
CB AJ Parker
WR Tom Kennedy
RB Justin Jackson
OT Obinna Eze
WR Maurice Alexander
LB Jarrad Davis
OT Dan Skipper
DL Bruce Hector
LB Anthony Pittman
TE Derrick Deese Jr.
LB James Houston

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