The Detroit Lions have made their final cuts of the preseason and trimmed the roster down to 53 players. For now, the roster looks to be set. There weren’t any big surprises, just a few minor ones. Like the fact that Kellen Moore stayed on as the 3rd string quarterback. It makes one wonder why it’s needed. Are Lions coaches and staff keeping him on “just in case” Matthew Stafford were to fall to an injury, thus leaving Shaun Hill at the helm? Stafford has been plagued with injuries in previous years, so it could be at the back of their minds.
There are five receivers: Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Titus Young, Kassim Osgood and Ryan Broyles. Obviously, Johnson will be getting a lot of attention as Stafford’s go to man, but how long will that last? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know teams are already trying to figure out a way to stop the Stafford to Johnson success.
Running backs are Keiland Williams, Kevin Smith, Joique Bell, Mikel Leshoure, Stefan Logan, and Jahvid Best. With six down on paper the Lions look really strong in the running game. However, Best is out on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list and most likely remain on for the first six weeks of the season. Leshoure is suspended for the first two games of thes season – and unable to practice – for the first week due to a substance abuse infraction. So, the running game suddenly looks a bit weak.
Three tight ends remained on the roster: Brandon Pettrigrew, Tony Scheffler and Will Heller. Reliable and hopefully injury free so that the offense remains consistent.
Then there is the O-line to make it all possible. Riley Reiff, Jeff Backus, Jason Fox, Rob Sims, Dylan Gandy, Stephen Peterman, Dominic Raiola, Gosdar Cherilus, and Corey Hilliard. Reiff is a rookie who will be put in at right tackle and right guard, most likely. If Backus and Raiola stay healthy, the O-line looks solid.
Let’s look to the defensive side of the ball. It’s no secret the Lions secondary has been weak because of injuries plaguing them.
Five cornerbacks remained on the roster: Bill Bentley, Kevin Barnes, Jonte Green, Chris Houston, Jacob Lacey. Barnes had to be put in the fourth preseason game as a safety due to injuries and no one else being able to go in. Luckily, he did a great job and showed he is a valuable player in many positions. The five players in the safety position include Louis Delmas, Erik Coleman, Amari Spievey, John Wendling and Ricardo Silva. Delmas is questionable for playing in week one and his status won’t be known until late in the week.
The defensive line includes Cliff Avril, Lawrence Jackson, Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, Ronnell Lewis, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Willie Young, Sammie Lee Hill, Corey Williams. Lewis is a rookie, so he might not see much play time this year. As long as Suh can keep it under control this year, meaning his actions so he isn’t fined and suspended, he will be the dominant force of the D-Line. Even with a strong line, if the secondary reamins weak then the offense will have to work even harder.
Special team players: Jason Hanson, Ben Graham and Dan Muhlback. Hanson is healthy and back for his twentieth year with the Lions. Wow. Twenty years is a loooong time to be with any franchise, especially one where almost all of those years had losing records.
Are you happy with the roster as it stands?