Three big Lions roster questions

August, 30, 2013
8/30/13
4:20
PM ET
People closer to the situation than me have made their best projection of the Detroit Lions' 53-man roster, which must be whittled down by Saturday afternoon. Here is one look from Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press and here is another from Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.

In essence, the Lions have a handful of key decisions to make that will start the fall of the other dominoes. Here are the three most important that come to mind:

Who is their kickoff and punt returner?

The answer to that question should drive the Lions' decisions at the bottom of their depth chart at receiver and running back. Is it rookie running back Steven Miller? Or veteran receiver Micheal Spurlock? Or will the Lions try to piece the roles together with players that were already destined to make the roster like running back Joique Bell and receiver Patrick Edwards?

Do they want four tight ends on the roster?

The Lions have four at that position who are NFL-caliber: Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler, Michael Williams and Joseph Fauria. Williams had surgery this week to repair a bone in his hand. Will the Lions keep him on the 53-man roster with hopes of using him after a few weeks off? Will they keep him on the final roster for one day and then place him on the injured reserve-designated for return? Or could they just shelve him for the season? In any event, it seems risky to expose Fauria to waivers.

How many of their veteran backup defenders do they need to keep?

The Lions have almost a dozen seasoned defenders on their roster, many of whom with starting experience, who have no chance to start. They can't all make the team. Is it Justin Bannan or Andre Fluellen on the defensive line? Rocky McIntosh or Chris White at linebacker? Ron Bartell, Rashean Mathis, Tyrell Johnson or Amari Spievey in the secondary?

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