Detroit Lions unsurprisingly waive tight end Shane Zylstra with injury designation

It's not a surprise given his reported recovery timetable, but the Detroit Lions have waived tight end Shane Zylstra.
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Given how bad it looked to those who were on-site at Allen Park, and Monday's subquent report from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network that he could miss six months with a serious knee injury, it was surely coming. On Tuesday afternoon, during an off day for practice, the Detroit Lions indeed waived tight end Shane Zylstra with an injury designation.

Once he goes unlclaimed on waivers, which is expected and inevitable given the apparent severity of his injury, Zylstra will revert to the Lions' injured reserve list. From there they can keep him there, which would end his 2023 season. He could also be released with an injury settlement, but that appears unlikely if he won't play this season anyway.

The Lions just went through a similar process with wide receiver Tom Kennedy. Kennedy is on their IR list after being waived/injured, and barring any further official news in the meantime could still be let go with an injury settlement at some point.

Detroit Lions roster: Opening at tight end created by Shane Zylstra injury

In the wake of Zylstra's injury and the reported severity of it, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press posted and quickly deleted a report Tuesday saying the Lions were set to sign tight end Daniel Helm, who most recently played for the Memphis Showboats in the USFL this past season. He has also spent time with a few NFL teams, mostly on practice squads since going undrafted out of Duke in 2019.

In any case, whether Helm is the signing or not, the Lions have a roster spot to fill and it's very likely a tight end willl be brought in to replace Zylstra. Rookie tight end Sam LaPorta also left Monday's practice, with an update sure to come on him, Zylstra and maybe who's being signed to come from head coach Dan Campbell before Wednesday's practice.


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