The Detroit Lions made a series of roster moves on Saturday afternoon, a day ahead of the team’s road game against the New England Patriots.
The Lions placed wide receiver Quintez Cephus on injured reserve, signed receiver Maurice Alexander and cornerback AJ Parker to the active roster, and temporarily elevated kicker Michael Badgley and cornerback Saivion Smith for the contest.
The loss of Cephus comes after he exited last weekend’s game in the second half with a foot injury. By being placed on IR, he is required to be sidelined at least the next four games before he’s eligible to return. This is the second consecutive season he’ll spend time on the injured list after missing the final 12 games last year with a broken collarbone.
Alexander, who was an all-USFL return man in the spring, gets the promotion after being temporarily elevated off the practice squad last week. Against the Seahawks, he served as Detroit’s primary returner, reprising a role he flourished in during the preseason when he averaged 34.8 yards on kickoffs through the exhibition slate.
As for Parker, he landed on the practice squad to start the season after losing a camp battle against former first-round pick Mike Hughes to be Detroit’s starting nickelback. As an undrafted rookie in 2021, Parker appeared in 13 games for the Lions, logging more than 550 defensive snaps.
Badgley will serve as Detroit’s place kicker against the Patriots a day after the team waived Austin Seibert. Badgley will be Detroit’s third different kicker in as many weeks and will be making his Lions debut a week after serving as an injury replacement for the Chicago Bears. In that appearance, he made all four of his field goals and accounted for all 12 of the team’s points in a 20-12 loss to the New York Giants.
Smith provides extra depth at both cornerback and on special teams. The physical 6-foot-1, 200-pounder spent a short time on Detroit’s roster in the latter stages of last season, seeing the field for a handful of special teams snaps.