Aug 13, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles tight end Emil Igwenagu (82) walks onto the field during a joint practice with the New England Patriots at the Patriots practice Fields. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions Waiver Claim May Be More Than Roster Churning

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The Detroit Lions made a couple of roster moves today as they were awarded waiver claims for TE Michael Egnew and FB Emil Igwenagu and released TE Jacob Maxwell and G Bryce Quigley to make room.

Martin Mayhew has made a habit of churning the bottom of the roster since taking over as the Lions general manager but today’s moves, in at least one case, may be more than that.

Michael Egnew faces an uphill battle with Eric Ebron, Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria locked in at tight end but Emil Igwenagu may be a different case.

Igwenagu was a tight end and fullback at UMass before going undrafted in 2012. He signed with the Philadelphia where he spent two seasons on their practice squad and active roster as a tight end before being waived this week. The Lions are giving him a crack at fullback and want to see what he can do. Here is what Jim Caldwell had to say at practice today:

Hopefully you will see him this week. He’s one of those guys that he’s going to have to be a quick learner in order for us to be able to utilize him. But, we plan on doing just that. We’re going to put him under an intensive sort of learning curve here shortly. Hopefully we’ll be able to certainly get him in the game so we can see what he can do.

It has been a while since the Lions have carried a fullback on the roster but they’ve given the position serious consideration this season. Montell Owens was brought in prior to last season and remains under consideration but he is more of a hybrid running back/fullback player whose biggest roles is on special teams. Jed Collins was signed as a free agent from the New Orleans Saints and Chad Abram joined the Lions as an undrafted free agent.

Abram was cut as the Lions pared down to the 75 player roster limit while Collins and Owens are squarely on the roster bubble. Igwenagu enters the mix late but without a front-runner at the position, the real battle may be whether or not the Lions keep a fullback at all.

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