Detroit Lions Notes: Roster Cuts Looming

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The Detroit Lions have already begun their first round of cuts, and a lot of the names were expected to be cut. The one disappointment in the first set of cuts was defensive end Kris Redding. Redding was supposed to be a good pass rusher, but he never shot off of the ball in the preseason the way the Detroit Lions coaching staff wanted. He did get a few quarterback pressures, but he failed to make a tackle on two sack opportunities. Those missed tackles could have been the reason Kris Redding was let go.

With Kris Redding’s departure, George Johnson has a better chance of moving into a position to make the Lions team. Johnson has showed much more athleticism at defensive end, and he has also played better contain during the run game. Defensive end is not only about rushing the passer, at least not in Teryl Austin‘s defensive system. Johnson has shown no problem of getting to the quarterback, however. His quick first move off of the ball has helped him become a bit of a surprise pass rushing player. George Johnson is showing Detroit that he can do everything expected of a quality defensive end.

Giorgio Tavecchio has played in his last game as a Detroit Lion. Nate Freese, the Lions’ 7th round draft pick, has won the job. Tavecchio missed a 51-yard field goal against Jacksonville, and that was likely the deciding factor. Freese’s accuracy from deep was the only question on his resume, but Freese nailed a 55-yard field goal easily against the Raiders. Now that Freese does not have to worry about losing his job, he can be a lot more relaxed during his next field goal attempts.

Corey Fuller had a game winning catch against the Cleveland Browns to open up the Detroit Lions’ preseason. However, that does not necessarily make Fuller a lock to make the roster. The Lions have an incredibly talented group of wide receivers. Ryan Broyles, Kris Durham, Kevin Ogletree, and Corey Fuller are all going to be battling for two roster spots. Does Fuller make the cut? It is not looking good for him, but with T.J. Jones starting the first six weeks of the season on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list he will have a better chance.

Will the Lions keep two quarterbacks, or will they keep Kellen Moore on their active roster? I do not see the Lions keeping three active quarterbacks. Some people are convinced that the Lions will keep three, but the fact is that it is not really possible for the Lions to keep a third quarterback. With the Lions running back and wide receiver corps needing padding, there will be no room on the 53-man roster for a third quarterback. Furthermore, Kellen Moore is actually practice squad eligible again this season. These facts alone make it a slim chance that the Lions start the season with 3 active quarterbacks. Unless Kellen Moore can run the football, play the pass, or catch a pass, then there is no room on the Lions’ 53-man roster for three quarterbacks.

Mikel LeShoure is in a heated battle for his job with the Lions’ free agent acquisition, running back George Winn. LeShoure has only really shown great skills on one carry. The rest of his carries were lackluster, and LeShoure is not hitting the holes in the line the way he should be. That is very concerning for Detroit. He is supposed to be a pile pusher, but George Winn has shown better prowess in that department. In my opinion, LeShoure could be on his way out of Detroit fairly soon.

Keep your eyes open, Lions’ fans. There are going to be a lot of roster moves made in the next week, and some familiar faces could be getting cut by the Lions. Detroit needs to put the best 53 men in action, and they currently have around 75 players active. 10 players will be eligible for the Lions practice squad, this season. That means that about 12 more players are on their way out of Detroit for good.

Among the cuts that Detroit made on August 25th are kicker Giorgio Tavecchio, punter Drew Butler, quarterback James Franklin, and cornerback Jonte Green.