Detroit Lions 53-man roster projection going into 2023 training camp

Here's a pre-training camp projection for what the Detroit Lions 53-man roster will look like heading into the 2023 season.
1 of 3

Detroit Lions training camp will start on July 29, with joint practices against the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars at Allen Park in the days leading up to preseason games against those teams. But now is the slow time on the NFL calendar, so it's the perfect time to project, look forward, etc.

More specifically, even a post-mandatory minicamp 53-man roster projection could be freshened up. The battle for some spots (kicker, No. 3/No. 4 running back, linebacker, defensive back depth will be worth watching during training camp, and a surprise cut or two can't be ruled out. Any additions made over the next 3-4 weeks, as unlikely as they are, would change the equation too.

Here's a fresh 53-man roster projection for the Lions before training camp.

Detroit Lions pre-training camp 53-man roster projection

Quarterbacks (2)
Jared Goff
Nate Sudfeld

Rookie Hendon Hooker is a prime candidate for the PUP list, as he works his way back from a torn ACL in what head coach Dan Campbell has deemed a "redshirt year" for him. Barring a signing to replace him, which general manager Brad Holmes practically promised back in January but would go against the grain of what everyone is saying now, Sudfeld will be Goff's backup.

Running Backs (5)
David Montgomery
Jahmyr Gibbs
Mohamed Ibrahim
Jermar Jefferson
Jason Cabina (FB)

The first two here are obvious, and Cabinda is a lock for the active roster until shown otherwise or he's injured. After that we have the battle for the No. 3 spot behind Montgomery and Gibbs, with Jefferson considered someone to watch and a significant investment made to sign Ibrahim as a UDFA. Craig Reynolds held the role last year, but now there's competition.

Colton Pouncy of The Athletic passed along indications Campbell wanted to find a way to get Jefferson up on the active roster for games last season, but logistically it just didn't work. The 2021 seventh-round reportedly looked good during OTAs.

So Reynolds is a notable cut here. It's unlikely he'd land back on the Lions' practice squad, as another team would certainly snap him up.

Roster Count: 7