Lions add 315-pound defensive tackle off waivers, cut Jermar Jefferson

Detroit News

Allen Park — The Detroit Lions coaches openly acknowledged the need for more girth along the team’s defensive line this offseason. They found some on Wednesday, claiming 315-pound nose tackle Benito Jones off waivers from the Miami Dolphins.

Jones signed with the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent out of Ole Miss in 2020. He appeared in six games as a rookie, logging 48 snaps on defense, prior to spending the entirety of the 2021 campaign on the team’s practice squad.

Jones played extensively for the Dolphins this preseason, seeing 110 defensive snaps across three games. He tallied seven tackles, including two for a loss in that playing time. Pro Football Focus also credited him with five quarterback pressures.

In a corresponding move, the Lions waived running back Jermar Jefferson. A seventh-round pick a year ago, he had struggled during the preseason, making it a mild surprise when he earned a spot on the team’s initial 53-man roster.

With his release, the Lions now only have three running backs on the active roster — D’Andre Swift, Jamaal Williams and Craig Reynolds.

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Patterson finds new home

Of the more than 600 players to hit waivers Tuesday, just 32 were claimed by a new team Wednesday afternoon. Among that select group, the only Lions player to be scooped up was kicker Riley Patterson. He was claimed by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Signed off the New England Patriots practice squad last season, Patterson made 13-of-14 field goals in seven games with the Lions, including a long of 49 yards. He was also perfect in the preseason, although he didn’t attempt a kick longer than 28 yards in those three games.

Patterson ultimately lost out to Austin Seibert for Detroit’s kicking job.

The Jaguars had retained two kickers as part of the team’s initial 53-man roster on Tuesday, rookie James McCourt and Jake Verity, who went undrafted a year earlier and hasn’t appeared in a regular season game.

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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