Detroit Lions waive RB Jermar Jefferson, sign 13 to practice squad

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Lions are down to three running backs on their 53-man roster.

The Lions waived second-year running back Jermar Jefferson on Wednesday to make room for waiver-claim nose tackle Benito Jones.

A 2021 seventh-round pick out of Oregon State, Jefferson was perhaps the most surprising player to survive the Lions’ initial cut to 53 players. Jefferson played sparingly as a rookie, running for 74 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries, and he was outplayed this preseason by Justin Jackson.

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The Lions cut Jackson on Tuesday, and re-signed him Wednesday among 13 additions to the practice squad.

Along with Jackson, the Lions signed 12 other players who spent training camp in Detroit: wide receivers Tom Kennedy and Maurice Alexander; tight ends Garrett Griffin and Derrick Deese; offensive tackles Dan Skipper and Obinna Eze; cornerbacks Saivion Smith and AJ Parker; linebackers Anthony Pittman and Jarrad Davis; and defensive tackle Bruce Hector.

The Lions are expected to sign quarterback David Blough to the practice squad once he clears waivers Thursday, and they could keep Jefferson on the unit as well.

The Lions also waived receiver Trinity Benson with an injury settlement, clearing the way for him to return later in the fall if he does not find work with another team.

Jefferson is the only member of the Lions’ seven-person 2021 draft class not currently on the 53-man roster. First-round pick Penei Sewell, third-rounder Alim McNeill and fourth-rounder Amon-Ra St. Brown are expected to be starters and major contributors this fall, fourth-round choice Derrick Barnes is ticketed for a rotational role at linebacker, and second- and third-rounders Levi Onwuzurike and Ifeatu Melifonwu have battled injuries all camp.

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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