13 Detroit Lions Likely to be Cut Next Week

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Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Lions face the Jacksonville Jaguars today, making this an opportune time to talk about the players that face the toughest road to make it to the roster.  No, not those that are difficult choices, those cuts usually happen during final cuts.  This is the time that teams like the Detroit Lions are going to be forced to trim the fat as it were and get rid of the players they don’t think will make their roster and are just taking up space.  It’s also when teams let veterans go that they don’t feel fit their team but are leaving on good enough terms that the team is giving them the most time to latch on elsewhere.  With the roster presently sitting at 89, the Lions have 14 cuts to make next week, so here’s my best guess as to who they are.

Jerel Worthy, Defensive Tackle

The former Michigan State standout had a rough start to his career.  Miscast in a 3-4 in Green Bay, Worthy dealt with injuries and ineffectiveness as his career lumbered along.  He floated from team to team before landing with the Detroit Lions, but hasn’t done anything to endear himself to the roster.  Firmly locked into the final defensive tackle spot, he showed enough on special teams to maybe get a look when he is cut.  As a defensive tackle, however, he showed nothing that the team would want to keep around.

Vernon Johnson, Wide Receiver

Poor Other Johnson.  It’s tough when you’re the third best Johnson on your team, tougher still when you get almost no chance to showcase your skills during the preseason.  Vernon Johnson showed very well early in camp, becoming a favorite target of both Kellen Moore and Dan 0rlovsky. With neither quarterback showing the ability to accurately throw a football to a wide receiver, coupled with the fact that Johnson would only ever play with Garrett Gilbert on 4th team pretty much seal the end for Johnson on the Lions roster.

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Garrett Gilbert, Quarterback

There isn’t any need to carry a 4th quarterback into your final preseason game and I’m betting Gilbert has already seen the last of his time on the field for the Detroit Lions.  Gilbert has looked better than Kellen Moore while playing against the 3rd and 4th string defenders, but it won’t mean much since he wasn’t really getting anything more than ‘camp arm’ snaps anyway.  It wouldn’t surprise me to see Gilbert brought back to the practice squad once final cuts are completed, but that’s only because he probably isn’t getting picked up between first and second cut down.

Kyle Brindza, Specialist

The Detroit Lions are so confident in their kicker and punter situation that they brought in a guy who could do both to training camp.  Brindza got some valuable game time experience, most notably at kicker, and it’s possible he could latch on someplace this fall. It won’t be with the Lions, however, and there’s no reason to keep him around longer than the team needs to.

Ryan Broyles, Wide Reciever

The former second round pick is likely facing a showcase game against the Jaguars.  Plagued by injuries, Broyles faces the most difficult road he has ever faced to make it to the Detroit Lions roster, and the biggest obstacle to that could be that he shouldn’t want to.  The #3 receiver on the Detroit Lions is an outside receiver, with Tate or Johnson kicking inside to the slot, so a true and only slot receiver would only get, say, 5 targets through 16 games.  Matching his 2014 mark would be a miracle for Broyles, who ought to welcome the opportunity to play elsewhere.  This is one of those cuts where it has less to do with play and more to do with giving the player a chance to sign with another team and get meaningful snaps in their offense.  If the team can’t trade him, and I’m sure they’re trying, they will showcase him in one final attempt and then let him loose if it fails.

Next: Any More Surprises?