The first week of the regular season is finally here. Let’s start it off the right way with the fourth issue of scooped.
The Lions made some interesting cuts on Saturday. For the first time in the Mayhew era, the Lions are rolling with 2 QBS on the roster. Kellen Moore was cut, despite a two year deal this offseason, and reunited with former OC Scott Linehan with the Dallas practice squad.
The Lions cut former returner Jeremy Ross. Ross fumbled too much and had way too many fair catches in 2014. The Lions were impressed with 2014 6th round pick TJ Jones at receiver and punt returns. Rookie Ameer Abdullah could also handle returns for Detroit. Veterans Josh Wilson could hand kick offs and Golden Tate may be used in key situations on punts.
Detroit cut Joseph Fauria after an injury plagued 2014 season. The Lions traded for Tim Wright last week so the writing was on the wall for Fauria. Wright actually had more TDs than Fauria (11 to 8) over the last two seasons. Wright has been more productive between the 20s and therefore offered more value than Fauria. I wonder if it will be awkward between Faruia and his dog now.
The Lions used the short term IR for rookie 3rd rounder, Alex Carter. Carter can’t play until Week 10 but can practice after 8 weeks. The Lions have only 5 CBs on the roster and the 3 backups are better at the nickel slot. The Lions are very thin at CB on the outside. The Lions did add former 2nd round pick of 2014 Stanley Jean Baptiste to their practice squad. Baptiste is tall with speed but very raw. The Lions added DT Jeremelle Cudjo to the roster to replace Carter due to the ailing Carruan Reid.
The Lions started practice on Monday to prepare for Week 1 at San Diego. DeAndre Levy remains out with a mystery injury. His status for Week 1 is fully in doubt after missing the past three weeks with injury. This is not good for the Lions defense to start the season. Levy is an incredibly important player for Detroit. Right guard Larry Warford and defensive tackle Carraun Reid both missed practice with ankle injuries. Injuries are the reason Detroit kept an extra interior lineman (Taylor Boggs) and extra defensive tackle (Cudjo).
Green Bay Packers
The Packers made a free agent splash by signing James Jones on Monday. Jones was released by the Giants during the 53 man roster cuts after being released from Oakland earlier this offseason. Jones has had success with the Green Bay offense from 2007 to 2013, including a 14 TD 2012 season. Jones is familiar with the offense and has a good chemistry with Aaron Rodgers. Myles White was cut to make room for Jones. This was a good move by the Packers to gain an experienced outside receiver in their system after the loss of Jordy Nelson to his injury.
The Packer made their cuts to the 53 man roster on Saturday. 2014 3rd round pick Kyhri Thornton was one of the cuts along with 5th round pick from 2014, Jared Aberrderis. Two Packers’ players are suspended in Datone Jones and Letroy Guion. Mike Pennel and Bruce Gaston are temporary defensive linemen for Green Bay until the suspended players return in Week 2 and Week 4 respectively. The Packers kept 2 FBs, 3 QBS, 5 WRS and 11 DBs.
Starting center John Sullivan is still out for the Vikings. He hasn’t practiced since August 18 due to back spasms. This is cause for concern for Week 1 for the Vikings. Joe Berger would start in Sullivan’s place.
The Vikings didn’t make many surprising cuts. DuJuan Harris was cut by Minnesota as they purge their roster from ex-Packers. Anthony Harris had some hype at safety but was cut by Minnesota. Michael Mauti was a good Penn State linebacker but the Vikings were deep at ILB with Hodges, Kendricks and Cole. Josh Robinson went to PUP and corner Jabari Price is suspended 2 games.
The Bears cut former starting right tackle Jordan Mills. The Bears will move Kyle Long to Right tackle. Charles Leno Jr will be the backup right tackle. Vladimir Ducasse or Patrick Omameh will play right guard for Chicago. Omameh was claimed off waivers after the Buccaneers cut him this weekend. This is an interesting last minute move. This move weakens the Bears interior but may give them some stability at right tackle for once. Long will be even more worth a 1st round pick if he can play right tackle well.
The Bears also cut free agent pickup Mason Foster. Christian Jones and Shea McClellin will be the Bears ILBs this season. McClellin was strong in run defense last year but struggled in coverage. McClellin’s first test will be covering Richard Rodgers, Andrew Quarless and helping with Randall Cobb in the slot.
Real football starts Thursday night. The Steelers hope to deflate the Patriots Super Bowl momentum at Foxboro. Can’t wait!!!!