Kenny Wiggins has been cut from NFL rosters 10 times, but with his first-team spot on the depth chart, the Detroit Lions may be his last NFL shot.
For every NFL player who makes it onto an NFL roster like the Detroit Lions, there are hundreds of guys who come up just short, whether it be because of an unlucky situation, an untimely injury, or simply because they aren’t quite ready to play in the best football league in the world.
Kenny Wiggins knows what it feels like to be one of those hundreds of guys. In fact, he has been that guy 10 different times. Not only does the former Fresno State Bulldog know what it feels like to get that rejection, he has NFL experience to know how to improve and avoid getting cut for an eleventh time.
It’s been a long time coming for Wiggins to get to where he is today with the Lions. He’s been cut and resigned by the San Francisco 49ers, the Baltimore Ravens and the Los Angeles Chargers, and also spent some time in the United Football League with the Sacramento Mountain Lions.
After going from eating two hot dogs in one bun at lunch in his time in the UFL and getting cut multiple times by NFL teams, Wiggins has found some stability on both the Chargers and the Lions. Thriving in a backup role for depth, Wiggins has proven to be a reliable plug-and-play linemen who is ready to go at the drop of a hat.
Wiggins started for the Lions in 10 games last season while the now-retired T.J. Lang dealt with a variety of injuries. He played decent in the 796 offensive snaps he played, only allowing four sacks and 29 pressures while ranking 59th in the league at the guard position.
While he wasn’t perfect in his time filling in for Lang last season, Wiggins must have felt some relief when the Lions released their first official depth chart and his name was in one of the starting guard spots.
It should feel nice to get that faith from the organization, but Wiggins shouldn’t get too comfy. He’ll be fighting for reps with fellow guards Oday Aboushi, Tyrell Crosby and Joe Dahl, and if he gets outplayed, he might just get cut for an eleventh time.
But if there is one person who knows how hard he needs to fight to stay on the NFL field, it’s Wiggins. There is no doubt that the former undrafted free agent has been doubted before, but he has probably gotten used to it and now thrives in that role. Here’s what Wiggins told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press back in May …
"“I’ve been through it all. I’ve been cut 10 times. I’ve played in the UFL. I’ve done it all, so nothing surprises me at this point in my career. I think I’ve proven I can play in this league and it’s just going out there and just doing what I normally do day in and day out, being the same person when I walk in the door.”"
Kenny Wiggins will try to keep his starting spot secure throughout the preseason. And as long as he can continue his solid play, he may be the fifth cog in the Lions offensive line for the entire 2019 season.