Detroit Lions add young defensive back to practice squad

Credit: Elsa/Getty Images
Credit: Elsa/Getty Images /

On Tuesday, the Detroit Lions made a practice squad move to add a young defensive back to the mix.

With the team on a day off, NFL teams have players in for tryouts on Tuesdays if they’re compelled to do so. This week the Detroit Lions had two cornerbacks in for a tryout, Jarren Williams and Chris Wilcox. The team later announced they added Williams to the practive squad, and released rookie wide receiver Josh Johnson from the practice squad in the corresponding move.

Wilcox was a seventh-round pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He spent time this offseason with the Indianapolis Colts, where the Lions got a bit of a look at him in joint practices and a preseason game.

Williams was signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent in 2020. He landed with the New York Giants, playing in two games as a rookie. Back with the Giants in 2021 he played in six games, starting two, with 18 total tackles and one pass breakup over 194 defensive snaps. He moved to safety, but he was released from IR with a hamstring injury early in this year’s training camp and is listed once again as a cornerback

Could Jarren Williams stick with the Detroit Lions?

Coming out of Albany in 2020, Williams has faced an obvious uphill battle to stick in the NFL. He’s a smaller corner (5-foot-10, 187 pounds), which made the brief move to safety a curious one.

In his only extensive run of playing time in the NFL, last season with the Giants, Williams allowed a 38.1 percent completion rate and a 46.3 passer rating in his coverage (according to Pro Football Reference). Even in a small sample like that, those numbers are pretty good.

Williams may never get into a game for the Lions over the rest of the season. But they’ve got him in the mix now, with a reserve/futures contract possibly in play when the season is over to get a longer look at him. As late-November practice squad fliers go, this one has a chance to yield something.

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