Detroit Lions: 53-man roster prediction prior to season opener

Detroit Lions (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Matt Prater, Detroit Lions
Matt Prater, Detroit Lions (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /


In: (3) Matt Prater, Jack Fox, Don Muhlbach

Out: Arryn Siposs, Steven Wirtel

Rationale: The Lions’ longtime, steady specialist trio was broken up in the spring when punter Sam Martin signed with the Denver Broncos. Whether this unit remains a strength of the team will depend a lot on Coombs’ impact as well as how seamlessly a new punter can move in.

No competition was brought in for Prater this year, and let’s be honest, none was needed. He still has one of the strongest legs in the league and could be armed with extra motivation in a contract year.

Fox is awarded the role of Martin’s replacement in a tight battle with the rookie Siposs. Without a preseason slate, this becomes one of the toughest calls on the team, but Fox’s experience on both the Lions’ and Kansas City Chiefs’ practice squads last year gives him the advantage.

It has to end at some point, right? Not this year. The indestructible Muhlbach’s Lions career continues in 2020 as he sustains his climb up the all-time games played list for both the Lions and the entire NFL.

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Wirtel seems likely to get a shot elsewhere at some point; reliable long snappers are harder to find than one would think. Yet, overhauling two-thirds of their triumvirate in an abridged offseason could be one step too far, and the Lions opt for sticking with a known commodity in their longest-tenured player.