The Detroit Lions are bringing back another player, re-signing linebacker Josh Woods.
The Detroit Lions got a jump start on internal free agent signings last week when they re-signed fullback Jason Cabinda to a two-year deal. On Tuesday morning, the team announced it has re-signed linebacker Josh Woods. Like Cabinda, Woods was slated to be a restricted free agent. Full contract terms for Woods have not been disclosed yet
The Lions signed Woods off the Chicago Bears’ practice squad ahead of Week 3 of the 2021 season. In 12 games for Detroit he had 28 total tackles (21 solo). He made one start on the defensive side, but became a core special teamer (174 special teams snaps).
Woods had a career-high 13 tackles in Week 14 against the Denver Broncos, but he finished the season on IR with a neck injury. Of his 113 defensive snaps for the Lions, 107 came between Week 13 against the Vikings and that Week 14 game against the Broncos as he filled in due to injuries.
Woods landed with the Bears as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Maryland in 2018. He played in 25 games for the Bears (15 in 2020), mostly as a special teamer.
During the season, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Woods was excited for the opportunity to show he’s more than just a special teams player.
"Guys kind of get into that box (of being seen as special teams-only players),” Woods said. “It’s a blessing when you are able to kind of break out of that box, but I won’t go ahead and get ahead of myself and act like I’m out of it. I still have so much to prove at linebacker to myself and there’s a lot of things I want to do on special teams still."
Josh Woods brings depth to Lions’ linebacking corps
The Lions may look a lot different at inside linebacker once free agency and the draft are over, with Alex Anzalone and Jalen Reeves-Maybin both unrestricted free agents. Derrick Barnes, coming off an up-and-down rookie season in 2021, will be in the mix somewhere competing for time at inside linebacker. Now Woods could be in that mix too, but he’ll be no less than a core special teamer–and a standout there if his 2021 showing is any indicator.