The Lions re-signed quarterback Brad Kaaya on Wednesday, bringing their 2017 sixth-round draft pick back to Detroit.
Kaaya was one of Detroit’s final cuts this preseason, and they hoped he would go unclaimed so they could add him to their practice squad. However, the Panthers claimed him instead. He remained on Carolina's roster until yesterday, when he was cut loose to sign some defensive help.
When Kaaya became available, the Lions pounced on the chance to claim him off waivers and add him to their 53-man roster.
The timing of this signing is what makes it interesting. Matthew Stafford suffered multiple injuries in the Lions' loss two Sundays ago against the Panthers and was hit a lot this past Sunday as they fell in New Orleans. Stafford has been sacked 17 times in the last three games and looked like he could barely move by the end of that Saints game.
Was Kaaya’s signing simply because the Lions like him and wanted him back? Or did Matthew Stafford’s health necessitate the signing of another quarterback to back up Jake Rudock if Stafford is unable to play, and it was a happy coincidence that Kaaya became available?
I think the latter might be the case.
Why would this Lions team, that is riddled with injuries, waste a roster spot on a player that they don’t expect to even have a chance of playing? The spot could certainly be used to add depth to the beat-up defensive line. To make room for Kaaya – as well as DE Jacquies Smith and T Bryce Harris, who they also signed Wednesday – the Lions released DE Datone Jones, DE George Johnson and waived DT Caraun Reid. It is nice to get Harris' help on the equally-depleted O-line, but one of those defenders could certainly help with Haloti Ngata out. Especially with Ziggy Ansah and Anthony Zettel both dinged-up and underperforming.
A DE or DT would definitely be more useful than a third quarterback that will be inactive every week.
Unless he won't be…