Detroit Lions: Jordan Thompson

It may be a few days after Halloween, but the Detroit Lions were away with their families and friends last weekend for the off week. So when they returned to Michigan, a few of them apparently had a Halloween party recently.

And some took to the social media networks to post exactly what they ended up putting together.

Wide receiver Golden Tate really got into the spirit of it with his girlfriend, Elise Pollard, as he even added white contacts for his Joker costume.

 

It was apparently worth it after the costume they put together.

 

He wasn't the only one to get into the spirit of it -- or to post pictures of costumes. Lions tight end Joseph Fauria had one of his fellow tight ends -- Jordan Thompson -- make complete fun of him and his ankle injury.

Thompson, you see, dressed up as Joseph Fauria’s stairs to referencing his ankle sprain while chasing his peeing dog.

 

While not every player posted Halloween costume pictures from the party, others did from throughout the weekend, including running back Reggie Bush. He went as “Coach Bush.”

LADIES MY-MA-CEDEEEEEES!!!! (Tracy Morgan Voice)

A photo posted by reggiebush (@reggiebush) on

 
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- After having the bye week off, both wide receiver Calvin Johnson and running back Reggie Bush returned to practice for the Detroit Lions on Monday, possibly a sign they will both be ready to go against Miami next Sunday.

Bush
Bush
Johnson
Johnson has not played since aggravating his high right ankle sprain in Week 5 against Buffalo, and Bush missed two of the past three games with an ankle sprain of his own.

Also back at practice were the recently activated Kyle Van Noy and defensive tackle C.J. Mosley, back from suspension.

Only four Lions players missed practice: tight ends Brandon Pettigrew, Joseph Fauria and Eric Ebron and defensive tackle Nick Fairley.

The Lions also made a plethora of practice squad moves Monday, signing tight end Jordan Thompson, cornerback Trevin Wade and defensive tackle Roy Philon. They also cut tight end Ifeanyi Momah from the practice squad.

Bios on new practice squad players:

TE Jordan Thompson: Thompson was cut by the Lions on Saturday after two games with the team. He was targeted once and dropped the ball, having it hit off his hands for an interception. He is a long-term project for Detroit at long-snapper.

CB Trevin Wade: Wade, from Arizona, was drafted by Cleveland in the seventh round of the 2012 draft. Between Cleveland in 2012 and New Orleans in 2013, Wade played in 15 games, making 11 tackles. He also appeared in both of the Saints playoff games last season, making two tackles.

DT Roy Philon: Philon, who went undrafted out of Louisville, has spent time with Pittsburgh and Chicago since May.
With linebacker Kyle Van Noy set to come off injured reserve and Detroit needing to find a replacement for the injured Nick Fairley at defensive tackle, the Lions made a pair of moves Saturday.

They cut tight end Jordan Thompson and safety Jerome Couplin, giving them two open roster spots. One will almost definitely be used for Van Noy and the other likely used for a defensive tackle.

Thompson played in two games for the Lions and was targeted once -- a pass that went off his hands and was intercepted against New Orleans. Couplin had made the team's initial 53-man roster but saw his snaps dwindle as James Ihedigbo and Don Carey returned to health.

He was cut last Monday when Detroit needed an extra tight end, was re-signed to the practice squad that week and then promoted last Saturday, when C.J. Mosley was suspended. Now, he's cut again after appearing in eight games with 11 defensive snaps and two tackles.

It is possible one or both of Thompson and Couplin will be brought back to the practice squad if they clear waivers.

No corresponding moves were made official by Detroit.
LONDON -- Each week, we’ll take a look at who or what might be rising or falling with the Detroit Lions.

RISING:

Tate
Tate
WR Golden Tate: Tate is second in the NFL among receivers in receptions (55) and third in yards (800) at the halfway point of the season and has really turned into a No. 1B option to Calvin Johnson's No. 1A (when Johnson is healthy). Tate showed it again Sunday against the Falcons when his 59-yard touchdown grab in the third quarter really got Detroit’s comeback going.

RB Theo Riddick: Jim Caldwell said Tuesday that even when Reggie Bush gets healthy, the team is going to have to find ways to get Riddick some touches. Like Joique Bell and Bush, Riddick hasn’t had much success running this season, but he has 149 receiving yards and has shown a penchant for big plays when he’s gotten the opportunity -- including a big screen against Minnesota and two massive catches against Atlanta.

At least a winning season: At 6-2 halfway through the season, a .500 record the rest of the way would give Detroit a 10-6 final record and a potential playoff berth and/or divisional title. And at this point, only a total collapse -- one that would be worse than last season -- would keep the Lions from their second winning record since 2011. For some franchises, this is expected on a yearly basis. For the Lions, it is a rare sight over the past decade and a half.

FALLING:

Bush
Bush
RB Reggie Bush: If Caldwell is going to get Riddick more carries, that will likely come out of Bush’s total, not Bell’s. Bush and Riddick have similar roles in the offense, and Riddick continues to look like a player who could have an increasing role both this season and in the future. That doesn’t bode well for Bush, who has missed two games this season with an ankle injury and been limited in others.

LB Ashlee Palmer: If the Lions bring Kyle Van Noy off of short-term injured reserve -- and it seems like they will at some point before Detroit faces Miami in Week 10 -- Palmer could see his role in the defense start to decrease. The two had been competing, along with now-middle linebacker Tahir Whitehead, when Van Noy had core muscle surgery, putting him on IR for half the season. Now that he’s back, the Lions will at least work him into the lineup and might eventually have a split like Whitehead and Josh Bynes at middle linebacker.

WR Ryan Broyles/TEs Kellen Davis and Jordan Thompson: Grouping these three together because, as the Lions get healthier on offense during the off week, these three players are the most likely to be phased out of the offense or potentially off the team altogether. When the Lions were healthy, Broyles was a healthy scratch each week and could end up back there again. If Brandon Pettigrew, Joseph Fauria and Eric Ebron all end up healthy by next week, either one or both of Davis and Thompson may no longer be on the roster.
During the bye week that conveniently comes at the midway point of the season, we’ll review each Detroit Lions position group.

Major moves in the first half: Signed Kellen Davis and Jordan Thompson.

What has worked: Not a ton, as this has been an odd position for the Lions this season.

[+] EnlargeEric Ebron
Andrew Weber/USA TODAY SportsFirst-round pick Eric Ebron has missed the past two games with injury and has only 10 receptions.
Brandon Pettigrew’s role has shifted dramatically, but he has fit in well when he has been called upon to be primarily a blocker. Even though Detroit’s run game has been suspect this season, he has held up well in that area.

Other than that, it has been tough going for the tight ends. Joseph Fauria has been hurt for a month. Eric Ebron has been injured and has been coming along slowly as he learns the full gamut of tight end roles in the NFL.

Before Ebron’s injury, though, he was making some improvements, and Fauria’s blocking is much improved from a season ago.

The other guys are just that ... guys. Davis and Thompson started the season either without a team or on a practice squad.

What has not: Pretty much everything else.

Even before the injuries to Fauria and Ebron, neither one had made a significant impact statistically. Ebron caught a touchdown pass against the Jets, but that is the position group’s only score of the season.

But injuries have destroyed the production at this position. Ebron was drafted to be a mismatch in the middle of the field, but he has barely been used in that capacity. Fauria was playing ahead of Ebron before he got hurt, but quarterback Matthew Stafford rarely looked his way.

Combined, Lions tight ends have 22 receptions for 220 yards, one touchdown and three drops. The drop numbers, though, could easily be higher because it is a subjective stat.

In eight games, the Lions’ tight ends have been targeted only 42 times.

Prognosis: This is a tough position to call because of how the group was being used before injuries decimated the offense.

Theoretically, both Fauria (ankle) and Ebron (hamstring) could have big second halves as they return from their injuries. But this offense doesn’t seem to focus too much on finding tight ends, especially with Golden Tate having a monster season and Calvin Johnson preparing to return soon.

This could leave the tight ends in a bind. Statistically, as long as Johnson, Tate and the running backs remain healthy, this is probably a position of less importance in the Lions’ passing game than in past years.

But there should be improvement if only by the law of averages considering all three tight ends Detroit planned on using this season spent at least one game watching due to injury.
LONDON -- The Detroit Lions face the Atlanta Falcons at Wembley Stadium Sunday as part of the NFL’s International Series. How do the Lions come away with a win and a 6-2 first-half record? Here are four keys.

Johnson
1. Calvin Johnson: The star wide receiver practiced for the first time this week and said Thursday he could take his decision of whether or not to play all the way to Sunday. Unlike the past two weeks, though, this game might mean a bit more to him. As a huge international soccer fan, playing this game in Wembley Stadium would truly be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Johnson. And doing it while facing his hometown team, the Atlanta Falcons? That might be too good for him to pass up. If he bases it solely on his health, however, he truly becomes a coin-flip decision. Detroit could use him back in the lineup because the offense has been somewhat stagnant due to his and other injuries to skill-position players.

2. Who plays tight end? The Lions have been down three tight ends for most of the week, and the two who have practiced -- Kellen Davis and Jordan Thompson -- have been with the Lions’ 53-man roster for all of a week. Davis has never even played for Detroit before. If Brandon Pettigrew, Eric Ebron and Joseph Fauria all don’t play, that’s a big spot for a free agent off the street and a practice squad player. Depending on Johnson’s status, this could severely limit Matthew Stafford’s options.

3. Get to Matt Ryan: The veteran Atlanta quarterback has been good at avoiding pressure and sacks this season, even as his offensive line has crumbled around him due to injuries and ineffectiveness. But Ryan hasn’t faced this type of defensive front this season, and while Drew Brees had time on some plays last week, he was pressured enough to force bad decisions, including 10 incompletions and a turnover during the Lions’ rally late in the fourth quarter. If Detroit can do similar things to Ryan, this could be a big game for the Lions’ defensive line.

4. Defend Roddy White and Julio Jones: It’s unlikely the Lions will be able to take away both players, as they have combined for four 100-yard games this season (Jones with three, White with one). White and Jones represent one of the toughest receiving tandems the Lions have faced all season, and covering both while pressuring Ryan will be the key for defensive success. It would not be a surprising strategy to see the Lions not blitz much and have the front four try to create pass pressure and stop the run game, leaving seven players to drop into coverage. This might be a game where Detroit would want to allow more on the run in order to shut down the pass.
BAGSHOT, England -- The Detroit Lions’ banged-up skill position players continue to take turns sitting out practice.

 While Calvin Johnson practiced for the second straight day Thursday -- the first time he’s practiced on back-to-back days since before Week 3 against Green Bay -- the Lions were still without their top three tight ends and a top running back on Thursday.

Brandon Pettigrew, Joseph Fauria, Eric Ebron and Reggie Bush all sat out the portion of practice open to the media at Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa on Thursday. The three tight ends did not practice Wednesday, either, while Bush’s absence Thursday is somewhat of a surprise.

Bush had said both Tuesday and Wednesday he is not 100 percent, but plans to play Sunday in Wembley Stadium against the Atlanta Falcons.

If Bush does not play Sunday against Atlanta, it would mean more carries and touches for Joique Bell and Theo Riddick. Riddick sat out last Sunday’s game against New Orleans with a hamstring injury.

Right now, the healthy Lions’ tight ends are Kellen Davis and Jordan Thompson. Both were signed within the last week, although Thompson was promoted from the practice squad.

In good news for the Lions, defensive end Ezekiel Ansah returned to practice after missing Wednesday so he would appear on track to play against the Falcons.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Detroit Lions were prepared in case this situation happened. And with their tight end corps in disarray, they have brought in another player just a few hours before leaving for London.

The Lions signed tight end Kellen Davis and cut safety Jerome Couplin Monday, while also adding receiver Ifeanyi Momah to their practice squad.

Davis, who was a fifth-round pick of the Bears in 2008 out of Michigan State, has played in 95 games between Chicago and Seattle, making 50 catches for 561 yards and 12 touchdowns.

This was the type of situation Detroit had been preparing for with workouts for weeks, including bringing Davis in Thursday for a tryout after Eric Ebron injured his hamstring.

“You have your short list ready,” Lions team president Tom Lewand told ESPN.com. “So the fact that we’re going (to London) a little bit later (in the year) will help us. We’ve already got the book built on a number of different positions, including physicals and workout information and all that kind of stuff.”

Tight end happens to be Detroit’s biggest area of concern after the Saints game. The Lions went into the game down Ebron (hamstring) and Joseph Fauria (ankle) and with only two healthy tight ends in Brandon Pettigrew and Jordan Thompson.

Pettigrew then was injured in the game but finished, so the Lions were down to one healthy tight end, Thompson, who has played one career game.

“I’m always concerned about numbers, particularly in places where we can get thin there,” Lions coach Jim Caldwell said. “So that’s a concern. But yeah, (Pettigrew) was hobbling, but the effort he put forth to finish that game out was quite admirable.

“But those are the type of guys that we have. They are tough and get after it and find a way.”

Lewand said the team will have people at their facility in Allen Park, Michigan, on Monday and Tuesday to work players out if necessary and, in a worst-case scenario, watching a player on video could be an option before potentially signing him and flying him over to London.

Caldwell said Monday that general manager Martin Mayhew has also been asking questions about passports to players the team works out on Tuesdays, just in case they would need them for this trip.

“It’d be quite a task if we didn’t have the Tuesdays like we have,” Caldwell said. “Generally, Martin has done a tremendous job, for reasons like this, of staying ahead of the curve with anything that you ask him to.

“We have a pool that we work with that we know who the next guy in line is at a number of different spots, wherever it might be. You really don’t know until you come out of a ballgame.”

Coming out of Sunday, tight end was that area.

Couplin had been primarily a special-teams player the past few weeks, and he has made two tackles in seven games.

Momah, who is 6-foot-7, has been with the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns in the past.
The Detroit Lions were down their top wide receiver, two of their top three tight ends and still had a hobbled running back in Reggie Bush.

And yet receiver Ryan Broyles still rarely stepped on the field against the New Orleans Saints.

Broyles
The former second-round pick actually saw six snaps Sunday -- the most he’s had all season -- but four of those plays were runs. He was not targeted, was barely used and clearly has no role in this offense now, even with injuries all over the place to skill-position players.

Only one offensive player -- sixth lineman Travis Swanson -- played fewer offensive snaps than Broyles, and Swanson had five of them.

The Lions stuck with a three-receiver base set most of the game, too, with Golden Tate in on 63 of 70 plays, Jeremy Ross on 62 of 70 plays and Corey Fuller on 62 of 70 plays. Then came Broyles, who barely filled in.

He plays a different position, but tight end Jordan Thompson, who was called up Saturday by the Lions, had double the snaps of Broyles (12) and was even targeted once (an interception that bounced off his hands to Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro).

Considering the Lions are in a constant rotation of players and formations to try to gain an advantage on an opponent, the lack of usage for Broyles is pretty jarring.

He fought to make the team during training camp and has expressed both understanding and frustration about his usage before -- on Twitter last week and to ESPN last month.

But as the injuries to other players pile up and Broyles continues to remain on the bench, it is becoming more and more clear there just might not be much of a role for him on the Lions.

Other snap count notes for the Lions from Sunday:
  • Joique Bell saw the majority of the snaps at running back -- 52 for him and 18 for Bush. Coach Jim Caldwell said after the game it was “absolutely not” a benching when Bush sat for most of the second half and that Bush was still dealing with his ankle injury.
  • Nick Fairley played a season-high 47 snaps and had two tackles and a quarterback hit. Pro Football Focus also credited him with four hurries of Drew Brees.
  • In parsing the numbers for defensive alignments, the Lions went to their traditional nickel with Danny Gorrer on 30 of 74 plays, the base 4-3 with Ashlee Palmer on 17 snaps, the big nickel with Cassius Vaughn on 15 snaps and a third nickel package with Don Carey on 12 snaps. Isa Abdul-Quddus, who played one snap last week and was the initial big nickel back, played only special teams for 23 plays.
  • Linebacker Josh Bynes continues to get some run spelling Tahir Whitehead, as Bynes played 15 of 74 snaps but did not record a statistic. He is a core special teams player, too, so he’s carving out a role on this defense.
  • Once again, only backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky didn’t play, but these position players saw less than 10 combined snaps between offense, defense and special teams: Cornelius Lucas (four, special teams); Jerome Couplin (eight, special teams); Caraun Reid (eight, defense); and Broyles (six, offense).
The Detroit Lions are back to two healthy tight ends.

The team promoted Jordan Thompson from the practice squad on Saturday -- a move necessitated by injuries to Joseph Fauria (out/ankle) and Eric Ebron (doubtful/hamstring) in its tight end corps. With those two players out, it left Brandon Pettigrew as the team’s only healthy tight end.

Ebron
Thompson has never played in a regular-season game. He was brought in by the Lions in April for minicamps and was kept on the practice squad instead of Michael Egnew when both were cut by Detroit during final cuts to set the initial 53-man roster.

"One of the unique things about where we are right now is that we've always said that if you're on the practice squad, you should stay ready so you don't have to get ready," Lions coach Jim Caldwell said on Friday. "It's a little different than college, you're not in a redshirt year where they aren't going to use you at all. There's a chance that you could be called up at any point in time. It just kind of depends upon what happens.

"I think he's one of those guys though that's been studying from Day 1. He's very diligent in his preparation, he knows exactly what to do, understands his role if he does happen to get called up, and he's a guy that can run and catch. Obviously, I think in the role that he would play, he'd end up serving in a capacity where typically Joe (Fauria) and Ebron both would have played. But I think he'll be ready for it."

To make room for Thompson, the Lions placed linebacker Travis Lewis on injured reserve. Lewis injured his quad against Carolina and has not played since. He made two special teams tackles this season.

Lewis, a seventh-round pick for Detroit in 2012, has one more season left on his original contract.

The Lions had brought in two tight ends for workouts this week, but declined to sign either one.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. – As the Detroit Lions' secondary returns to closer to full strength as James Ihedigbo plans to play, another position group is now feeling a numbers crunch.

The Detroit Lions, for now, have two healthy tight ends: Brandon Pettigrew and Eric Ebron. They were only carrying three on their roster, but the ankle injury to Joseph Fauria during an off-field activity Wednesday night leaves the Lions light at the position.

And it could change the dynamic of a Detroit offense trying to discover its rhythm.

[+] EnlargeEric Ebron
AP Photo/Carlos OsorioRookie Eric Ebron is certain to get more snaps with Joseph Fauria injured.
While Fauria isn’t a massive loss on paper – he only has three catches this season and his touchdown production is way down from his rookie season – it does shift what the Lions are likely to do on offense. Detroit coach Jim Caldwell said Friday that Fauria’s absence will likely force the Lions to use different positional groupings on the field.

Considering Detroit has enjoyed using two-tight end sets often this season, this could mean a shift to more three-receiver looks, at least in the immediate term. This would seem to benefit both Jeremy Ross – the team’s de facto slot receiver – and potentially Ryan Broyles, who has been inactive for the first three games.

This would seem to be how Detroit would likely handle things this week, even if they choose to bring up tight end Jordan Thompson or fullback Emil Igwenagu, who has played tight end, from the practice squad. While looking at fullbacks, Fauria’s injury could mean an increased role for either Jed Collins or Montell Owens if the team needs another blocker or route-runner with some size.

Positionally, those are the likely ways Detroit will replace Fauria on Sunday. Depending how long he is out, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the team look at the free agent wire for tight ends as early as Monday.

For Sunday, though, Fauria’s absence ensures a larger role for first-round pick Ebron, who has been splitting reps with Fauria as the No. 2 tight end behind Pettigrew the past three weeks. Those snaps, theoretically, are now all Ebron’s.

On Thursday, Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said at some point he expected Ebron to eventually have a big role in the Detroit offense.

Now, the Lions have little choice but to use him.
Question of the Week is a weekly feature here in which we take a cross-section of opinions from Detroit Lions players and coaches (and sometimes opponents) about a singular topic. Most of the time, they have nothing to do with football. Have a suggestion for a question? Email: michael.rothstein@espn.com.

Previous Questions of the Week.

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- In terms of social media, Twitter and Instagram still appear to be the favored forms of communication between athletes and the general world that follows them.

But who do the players follow?

This week’s Question of the Week asked just that -- who is your favorite Twitter follow?

(My answer: My buddy John Walters because his opinions on things are often quite different than most @jdubs88.)

Broyles
Wide receiver Ryan Broyles @RyanBroyles: I don’t follow celebrities or anything like that. I follow news stations and stuff like that. I try to stay up to date. I don’t think I have one, man. As much as I’m on there, when I get on there I’m on there to tweet something, but throughout the day I’ll look at random news sites. I can’t say they are favorite, they all bring something to the table. I feel like I’m diversified when it comes to my Twitter followers. But I can’t just give you one.




Tight end Joseph Fauria @bigjoefauria: Let me see.

Tight end Jordan Thompson @JORDANTH0MPS0N: Say me, so I can get some followers.

Reporter: That’s actually brilliant.

Punter Sam Martin: Actually, say me, @SamMartin_6.

Fauria: I’m looking. I’m looking. Let’s see if Reggie tweeted. (Looks and sees that Bush didn’t tweet at him.) Definitely not Reggie Bush. I kind of like SportsNation. Hold on. I don’t really follow people that are really bad, really funny. I would say either SportsNation or Terez Owens. SportsNation because they post funny memes and same with Terez Owens. Just keep me updated on sports news and what’s going on with the game and Terez Owens is every sport. He’s a little bit gossip here and there, so it’s funny. Best of both worlds. Get my People Magazine and sports at the same time.




Punter Sam Martin: I don’t know. I really don’t know. Someone funny that I follow? I don’t know, dude, that’s tough. Ellen Degeneres is funny. I honestly am not a big, I follow 'SportsCenter' and stuff like that and I don’t get on it much unless I’m posting something or checking games. So, I guess sports and news. Forbes is a good one. I follow Forbes. It’s one of the few that I’ll actually click on their (links). So Forbes and Ellen.




Right guard Larry Warford @wardaddy_75: Funny Pics Depot. Just hilarious, bro. It gets me out of bad moods. It’s funny to follow. It’s pretty hilarious. I think equally as fun is LeCharles (Bentley). It’s funny because he just shuts people down. Those two are my favorite. It’s funny watching what LeCharles posts because he just shuts people down so fast. Someone will say something about diet and nutrition and he’ll go, ‘Nope, you’re wrong. And here’s why.’ It’s just funny to me. And then he puts up a lot of clips of other guys I train with as far as their pass pro and technique. Clips of them doing good things, coachable things. It’s pretty sweet. It’s like a double positive for me. Funny and informative.




Cornerback Darius Slay @_bigplayslay9: On Twitter? Kevin Hart. He’s too funny. Too funny. The stuff he tweet, it’s just so funny. You’ve got to follow Kevin. You’ve got to follow all comedians. Need to laugh.




Safety Jerome Couplin III @WhenInRome14: I don’t really go on Twitter. I be on Twitter here and there, but now more because I’m bored. I’m literally doing absolutely nothing. Don’t have one person for you. More instagram than Twitter.




Right tackle Cornelius Lucas @larry_lovestein: In terms of what? Detroit Lions. They keep me updated on what is going on with the team.

Reporter: Really? Really? You need that?

Lucas: You wanted somebody else?

Reporter: If that’s the truth and not the PR answer, then fine. But I don’t buy that.

Lucas: Actually my favorite thing to follow is NOLA.com. I’m from New Orleans, so I like to keep up with the news back home.




Wide receiver TJ Jones @IamTJJones13: I don’t use it following-wise in my timeline but probably Kevin Hart. Always a good laugh, always something stupid. You can count on him doing something to make you laugh.
The Detroit Lions finalized their practice squad on Sunday afternoon, and they didn't really venture too far from the players they already knew.

All 10 of the team's signings were players who were cut during the day Saturday. Here's the complete list:

Running back George Winn, fullback Emil Igwenagu, wide receiver Andrew Peacock, tight end Jordan Thompson, offensive guard Rodney Austin, offensive tackle Michael Williams, defensive tackle Xavier Proctor, linebacker Julian Stanford, cornerback Mohammed Seisay and safety Nate Ness.

Looking at this group, the first thing standing out is the Lions knew what they were doing when they claimed Igwenagu off of waivers early in the week. They wanted to get an extended look at him over other players they had no real interest in keeping. He has some experience in NFL games, too, so that makes him attractive at a position where a late-in-the-week pickup could be difficult.

Winn, Peacock and Seisay seemed targeted for the practice squad from the middle of camp, although Winn and Seisay made runs at the 53-man roster at points during camp. Austin and Williams were players I thought would end up on the final roster and gives Detroit some backup in case a lineman goes down during the week.

With Austin, this feels somewhat like his last chance considering the team signed him during the season when Tennessee expressed interest in bringing him up to its 53-man roster. Detroit did instead, and that he dropped back to the practice squad screams that he still has to prove something.

Williams is a player the Lions like, but he is still learning how to play offensive tackle as he makes a transition from tight end. Should he improve, he'll be competing for a roster spot in 2015 without question. The Lions also kept a tight end, Thompson, but he didn't do much to distinguish himself in camp. It will be interesting to see if Michael Egnew, who the team picked up earlier in the week, ends up with another team.

Proctor ends up on the practice squad again and Stanford, who the team signed last season and did well on special teams, comes back as a practice squad linebacker. Stanford, especially, could be a quick call-up if the team need special teams help.

This is going to be a fluid list, though, and this is definitely an area in which the Lions won't stay firm in depending on what happens around the league and with their own 53-man roster.
The offseason workouts have concluded and with players and coaches about six weeks away from the start of training camp, one last rest and individualized training period will commence.

After a month of workouts, though, there have been some players who have made cases for potential roster spots in the fall and others who did not help themselves nearly as much.

Just like the start of the spring workouts, here is a look at the Detroit depth chart – along with a post-minicamp guess at the 53-man roster that could end up being the Lions’ team in the fall. Remember, a lot can change between now and then.

Changes from our May offensive prediction are in parentheses.

QUARTERBACK:

Projected starter: Matthew Stafford (no change)

Backups (in projected depth-chart order for now): Dan Orlovsky; Kellen Moore; James Franklin (no changes)

Thoughts: Stafford remains Detroit’s starter and barring injury, that won’t change. Orlovsky will be the No. 2 quarterback – and that probably isn’t changing, either. The main battle in camp will be between Moore and Franklin for the No. 3 spot, if the Lions take a third quarterback. Franklin took no snaps in the spring, but Lions head coach Jim Caldwell indicated he’ll see live game action in the preseason.

Roster locks: Stafford; Orlovsky (add Orlovsky)

If picking the roster today, these guys would be on it: Stafford, Orlovsky, Franklin (practice squad) (Franklin from 53-man to practice squad)

RUNNING BACK

Projected starter(s): Reggie Bush/Joique Bell

Backups (in projected depth-chart order): Theo Riddick, Mikel Leshoure, Steven Miller.

Thoughts: Bush and Bell aren’t going anywhere. Riddick was one of the stars of the spring and looks like he’ll end up having a role in the offense beyond special teams this season. Leshoure missed part of spring workouts, so it is tough to say where his role will be this season, if he has one. But Detroit has its first three running backs pretty set right now unless it makes a free-agent move at the position.

Roster locks: Bush, Bell, Riddick (add Riddick)

If picking the roster today, these guys would be on it: Bush, Bell, Riddick, Leshoure (no changes)

FULLBACK

Projected starter: Jed Collins.

Backups (in projected depth-chart order): Montell Owens, Chad Abram.

Thoughts: This is a tough position to pick. Collins is the clear favorite heading into camp, although Owens’ spot on the roster could depend how Detroit feels about the rest of its teams units. If there is comfort there from other spots, Owens might be out of a job. If not, the Lions might keep him along with Collins because Owens can be a running back as well. Abram is probably headed toward the practice squad.

Roster locks: None. (no changes)

If picking the roster today, these guys would be on it: Collins, Owens, Abram (practice squad) (add Owens to 53-man, move Abram to practice squad)

WIDE RECEIVER

Projected starters: Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate

Backups (in projected depth-chart order): Jeremy Ross, Ryan Broyles, Kris Durham, Kevin Ogletree, TJ Jones, Corey Fuller, Naaman Roosevelt, Patrick Edwards, Cody Wilson, Andrew Peacock.

Thoughts: This was the spring of Jeremy Ross. He will make the roster at least as the team’s returner but probably showed enough during the spring to at least enter training camp with a good shot at being the team’s third or fourth receiver. Another surprise was Broyles, who if he can stay healthy could end up making a contribution in the fall. He isn’t a roster lock yet, but will certainly get some opportunities. The competition for the third (or fourth) outside receiver will be one to watch in the fall.

Roster locks: Johnson, Tate, Ross (add Ross)

If picking the roster today, these guys would be on it: Johnson, Tate, Ross, Durham, Broyles, Jones, Fuller (practice squad). (Add Broyles to roster from PUP, move Fuller from roster to practice squad.)

TIGHT END

Projected starters: Eric Ebron, Brandon Pettigrew.

Backups (in projected depth-chart order): Joseph Fauria, Jordan Thompson, Jacob Maxwell.

Thoughts: Moving Michael Williams to tackle all but assured Fauria a roster spot in the fall. It also means Detroit is probably going to carry only three tight ends on the roster unless either Thompson or Maxwell makes a massive move during training camp. The other thing benefiting Fauria is Ebron’s struggles with catching the ball at times.

Roster locks: Ebron, Pettigrew, Fauria. (Add Fauria)

If picking the roster today, these guys would be on it: Ebron, Pettigrew, Fauria. (Minus Williams)

OFFENSIVE TACKLE

Projected starters: Riley Reiff (LT); LaAdrian Waddle (RT).

Backups (in projected depth-chart order): Corey Hilliard, Cornelius Lucas, Michael Williams, J.B. Shugarts, Bryce Quigley.

Thoughts: This position seems fairly settled other than the No. 4 tackle spot. Reiff and Waddle aren’t going anywhere and Hilliard will likely push Waddle for a starting spot. As of now, Lucas has the inside shot on the fourth tackle position.

Roster locks: Reiff, Waddle (no changes)

If picking the roster today, these guys would be on it: Reiff, Waddle, Hilliard, Lucas.

GUARD

Projected starters: Rob Sims (LG); Larry Warford (RG).

Backups (in projected depth-chart order): Rodney Austin, Travis Swanson, Alex Bullard, D.J. Morrell.

Thoughts: Warford is not going anywhere and Rodney Austin had a good enough spring that both he and Swanson might make the roster as swing backups that could end up as starters by 2015 to replace Sims and Dominic Raiola. As long as Sims is healthy, he’ll make this team and start as well. The interesting question might be a practice squad candidate out of this group.

Roster locks: Warford (no changes)

If picking the roster today, these guys would be on it: Warford, Sims, Austin, Bullard (practice squad)

CENTER

Projected starter: Dominic Raiola

Backups (in projected depth-chart order): Swanson, Austin, Darren Keyton, Bullard.

Thoughts: Raiola is the starter here. Austin and Swanson will eventually compete for the starter’s role. Pretty cut and dry here.

Roster locks: Raiola, Swanson. (no changes)

If picking the roster today, these guys would be on it: Raiola, Swanson.
The Detroit Lions announced their undrafted free agents on Monday afternoon -- 11 of them in all -- and over the next few days, you'll get brief primers on all of them here as the team prepares for rookie minicamp this weekend.

Other profiles: OT Cornelius Lucas; QB James Franklin; FB Chad Abram; OL Alex Bullard; S Jerome Couplin; LB Justin Jackson; DB Gabe Lynn

Name: Jacob Maxwell

Position: Tight end

School: Louisiana-Lafayette

ESPN pre-draft position rank: No. 63 tight end

Career College Stats: 35 games, 50 targets, 36 receptions, 377 yards, 6 TDs.

Depth chart he’s looking at: Starters – Eric Ebron, Brandon Pettigrew. Depth – Joseph Fauria, Michael Williams, Jordan Thompson.

Chances of making it to camp: 75 percent.

Why him: Special teams. If there is one thing Detroit is not going to need, it is another tight end who even thinks about making plays. The Lions have Ebron, Pettigrew and Fauria to do that. Chances are those three tight ends end up making the roster for Detroit. If there is a fourth tight end, it will likely be one who can play extensively on teams and be a blocker if necessary.

That’s where Maxwell fits in. During his first two seasons at Louisiana-Lafayette he played teams and he had 10 special-teams tackles as a sophomore. If Maxwell has any shot at making the roster – or even practice squad – he would have to make a massive contribution on special teams during camp. He is more of a blocking tight end – think like a backup for Pettigrew – than he would be in the mold of Ebron or Fauria. For that reason, he is probably competing with Williams and Thompson, who can also long snap, for any potential roster spot.

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