Lions re-sign running back Craig Reynolds, move Julian Okwara to IR

It was an expected move, but the Lions have re-signed running back Craig Reynolds while moving edge rusher Julian Okwara to IR.
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

It felt likely when he was a surprising cut on Tuesday, it was just a matter of timing. On Thursday, the Detroit Lions indeed re-signed running back Craig Reynolds. In the corresponding move, linebacker Julian Okwara was placed on I.R.

Cutting Reynolds like they did was a procedural move for the Lions, knowing Okwara would go on IR. If they had put Okwara on IR on roster cut day, his season would be over. Holding him in a spot on the 53-man roster for two days, with a wink-nod agreement to Reynolds they'd re-sign him ASAP, Okwara only has to miss a minimum of four games now.

With good performances in each of the last two preseason games, Reynolds seem to lock down the No. 3 running back spot for the Lions behind David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs. That is still the case, but the addition of former Jet Zonovan Knight to the practice squad on Wednesday does offer an interesting competitor for that spot on the depth chart.

The Lions may have to add Knight to the 53-man roster to keep another team from poaching him, Reynolds or Knight could wind up a the primary kickoff returner.

Detroit Lions re-sign Craig Reynolds to re-bolster running back room

There was no way the Lions were going to go into the season with Montgomery and Gibbs as their only two running backs on the active roster (still not going to count Jason Cabinda, who is a running back by position label and not offensive role).

Reynolds has been a favorite of the Lions' coaching staff all along. So unless another team wanted him and he was willing to entertain it, he was always likely coming back. That it took two days is a little odd, but Wednesday was focused on forming most of the practice squad and probably who they wanted to fill it out on Thursday. Once those moves were done, Reynolds' re-signing was announced.

As for Okwara, his exact injury is not known. But it's apparently not severe enough to cost him the whole season, but bad enough that having him miss four games is palatable. It's another addition to his injury docket in any case, and if he hadn't been injured in the preseason finale he might have been released.

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