Detroit Lions 2022 roster cuts: 5 biggest surprises

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On Tuesday afternoon, the Detroit Lions made the final cuts needed to meet the 53-man limit. Of course, as you’ve probably remembered 100 times, this won’t be the final draft of the team’s roster. There will be moves from the Lions over the next 24-48 hours shifting the last few places, which could provide some additional clarity to some of the decisions Lions general Brad Holmes and coach Dan Campbell made this week.

Because there were a handful of surprises made by the team. Nothing special considering every player who got cut was on our “Bubble Watch” or someone who wasn’t even considered good enough to bubble the roster. That said, there were players that everyone on the staff thought were “IN” who were “OUT” and players that we all thought were “OUT” who ended up being “IN”.

Here are the five biggest surprises from the Lions’ roster for 2022.

Jermar Jefferson makes 53 man roster

This was by far the biggest surprise of the cuts. Jefferson was an underwhelming as a rusher in the preseason, leading almost everyone to think he was behind not only Godwin Igwebbuike but also recently added Justin Jackson. The preseason stats speak for themselves:

We won’t know for sure why Jefferson made the roster until we hear from the Lions, but it almost certainly has to do with special teams. The Lions challenged Jefferson to take his special team skills to the next level, and his second year running back certainly showed he was taking that off-season seriously. Still, Jefferson doesn’t feel like a better option for special teams than Igwebbuike, and he doesn’t have Jackson’s rushing skills. His recording of both remains a mystery. Perhaps a future relocation of the schedule will provide more clarity.

AJ Parker out

This one is much less surprising considering that Mike Hughes has been challenging Parker for the entry-level side job in recent weeks. However, when asked about the nickel league status after Sunday’s game against the Steelers, Campbell specifically pointed to Parker.

“AJ has proven to be reliable,” Campbell said. ‘He is smart. He is cunning. Although he has limitations, he understands his own limitations and is able to play at least one step ahead because he is a smart player.”

That was enough to tip the scales for me – and for all the other employees. However, I would expect to see Parker back on the practice squad if he releases waivers.

Lions keep three reserve interior attacking linemen

Individually, it’s not at all surprising that the Lions chose to keep Evan Brown, Tommy Kraemer and Logan Stenberg. All three were fantastic in the pre-season, and Stenberg fought off specifically to show that he’s made some serious progress this off-season. He has posted enough good tape in the past two preseason games that the former fourth round pick may not have made it through waivers.

Still, it doesn’t feel like the best use of roster spots when you’ve now rostered three spare interior attacking linemen. Only Kraemer has the versatility to play all three positions. I know the Lions offensive line had a lot of injuries in the offensive line last year, but that felt like a relative anomaly.

A few surprising Lions players are waived/injured

When a player is waived/injured it means the player gets waivers and if not claimed they go to the injured reserve. If they make it to the IR, their season is over unless the team decides to end them with an injury settlement. In those cases, they have nowhere to sign until their injury settlement period has expired, and if they were to sign with the original team, they would have to wait another three weeks.

On Tuesday, the Lions waived/injured Eric Banks, Kevin Jarvis, CJ Moore, Trinity Benson and Jashon Cornell.

The first three are not that surprising, as those players have missed a lot of time in training camp. Benson had dealt with occasional injuries, but seemed to struggle through them, playing 26 snaps on Sunday. Cornell also missed a few recent practices, playing seven snaps against the Steelers.

Both players felt like decent candidates to be part of the practice squad and maybe even get a chance to play in Detroit if the injury bug hit the starters. But now it looks like they won’t be playing for the Lions in 2022 and could lose their entire season through injury. That is unexpected to say the least.

Anthony Pittman cut

Even if there was a smart, handsome writer who predicted this move, I’m sure that humble person would even admit that he wasn’t very sure about that decision, especially when he said Pittman was his “last player.”

Pittman is a talented player who has been one of the best special teamers on the team for the past three years, and he has given depth to the Lions as a situational edge rusher who can also fall back as an off-ball linebacker. Perhaps his waiver is a positive sign for Julian Okwara’s health, but it’s still a pretty big surprise.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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