Detroit Lions place S Tracy Walker on IR, sign LB Anthony Pittman to active roster

Detroit Free Press

Tracy Walker’s season is officially over, and the Detroit Lions are promoting a familiar face to fill the safety’s spot on the 53-man roster.

The Lions placed Walker on injured reserve Tuesday and signed linebacker Anthony Pittman off their practice squad to take his place.

Pittman has played in every game this season as a practice squad elevation to the game day roster. He has two special teams tackles and is third on the Lions with 66 special teams snaps. Teams can only elevate a player from the practice squad to the game day roster three times in a season.

Walker tore his left Achilles tendon in the first half of Sunday’s 28-24 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Lions coach Dan Campbell said Monday that Walker’s loss will be “significant” for multiple reasons.

“Losing Tracy hurts,” Campbell said. “Tracy’s been, since I walked in the door last year he’s been all in and he’s one of our team captains this year. Nobody’s put in more work than he has, since the spring. And he is one of the smartest players we have on defense, that’s huge, and he’s productive. And so you’re losing a big cog in the piece that helps you over there.”

Campbell said the Lions are looking at multiple options to replace Walker in their secondary. Juju Hughes played the final three quarters against the Vikings and filled in after Walker was ejected in a Week 1 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Lions have rookie third-round pick Kerby Joseph in reserve.

Troubled with injuries to their receiving corps, the Lions also re-signed receiver Josh Johnson to the practice squad Tuesday. Johnson spent part of training camp in Detroit as an undrafted rookie.

Amon-Ra St. Brown, who leads the Lions with 23 catches, 253 yards receiving and three touchdowns, and Josh Reynolds suffered ankle injuries Sunday against the Vikings. Neither player’s injury is believed to be serious, though both could miss practice time or be limited in workouts this week.

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