Coming off an 0-16 season, the Lions had priority waiver claim status over the other 31 teams in the league. They also had a need for a quarterback.
That's because quarterback Drew Stanton has torn knee cartilage and could have arthroscopic surgery as soon as Wednesday.
The third-string quarterback was a second-round draft pick in 2007 and missed his entire rookie season because of an injured knee. Coach Jim Schwartz said Tuesday an MRI exam revealed the latest injury.
Daunte Culpepper is competing with Stafford for the starting job. He cut his foot Saturday night and needed eight stitches. Schwartz would not rule out the 10-year veteran for Thursday's preseason finale at Buffalo.
Information from ESPN.com's John Clayton and The Associated Press contributed to this report.