Detroit Lions: Tough roster decisions loom at tight end, fullback
Should Nauta continue his upward trend throughout August, the Lions will have little choice but to keep him on the roster. For too many years, they have been weighed down by having to decide which below average players should be jettisoned, while good teams face the opposite dilemma. In Nauta’s case, trying to sneak him through waivers and stash him on the practice squad seems impossible at this point.
The play of Nauta, Bawden and Thomas, as well as the fringe receivers on the roster will be a pivotal development to monitor as the Lions begin their preseason schedule this week against the New England Patriots. In particular, it will be important to track Nauta’s blocking, particularly out of the backfield. We know he can catch, could his lead blocking make Bawden expendable?
Should both players earn roster spots, it may mean that the Lions decide to keep four tight ends, as they did entering the season in 2018. In that case, it may be impractical to keep even five wide receivers on the team. Who makes the cut in that case? Could they really afford to short change themselves with pass-catchers in a new offense?
In addition, regardless of any gains that Dahl continues to make in year four, could his roster chances be in danger? Could these choices have an impact on numbers on the defensive side of the ball?
Every NFL team is obligated to make tough decisions in finalizing their rosters prior to Week 1. For the Lions, the 2019 preseason represents an opportunity to gain some clarity in the matter, even if some of their young players continue to make it hard on them.
How do you think the Detroit Lions’ roster battles at tight end and fullback will turn out? Let us know in the comments section below. Follow us on twitter at @SideLionReport and on our Facebook page as well.