Lions Rumors

Lions Lose Steve Longa For Season

Third-year Lions linebacker Steve Longa did, in fact, suffer a torn ACL that will end his season, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com reports. Longa tore the ligament while chasing down Giants quarterback Kyle Lauletta and is expected to be placed on IR Monday. The Lions weren’t going to use Longa as a starter — Jarrad Davis, Christian Jones and Devon Kennard are entrenched as their first-string ‘backers — but the former UDFA was a key part of Detroit’s special teams corps. This may open up a spot for Miles Killebrew, a former safety who’s been working with the Lions’ linebackers in recent weeks. Killebrew also serves as a regular on special teams.

Lions To Sign Sterling Moore?

3:42pm CT: Moore’s agency has now deleted the tweet indicating he’d signed with the Lions, and Detroit added a different safety earlier today. As such, it’s unclear what’s going on between Moore and the Lions, as Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com tweets.

12:45pm CT: Free agent cornerback Sterling Moore has signed with the Lions, as his agency tweeted this afternoon. Moore, a former UDFA who began his career with the Patriots in 2011, will reunite with Matt Patricia, the Lions’ new head coach who served as New England’s safeties coach in 2011 and the team’s defensive coordinator in 2012.

Moore was cut by the Patriots during the 2012 season, and he ultimately latched on with the Cowboys later that year. He mostly started for the Cowboys, Buccaneers, and Saints from 2014-2016, but he’s more of a role player at this stage of his career. In 2017, Moore bounced on and off the Saints’ roster, though he was fairly productive for New Orleans in 2016, finishing with a career-high 56 tackles, 13 passes defended, and two interceptions.

He is perhaps best known for his strip of then-Ravens receiver Lee Evans in the waning moments of the 2011 AFC Championship game, knocking a would-be game-winning touchdown out of Evans’ hands and sending New England to the Super Bowl.

In Detroit, Moore could have the opportunity to earn a fair amount of playing time. The Lions currently project to start Darius Slay and Teez Tabor, but the rest of the depth chart is not particularly inspiring. The team was set to meet with Kayvon Webster later this week, and it is unclear if the Moore signing will have any impact on those plans.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/19/18

Here are today’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Claimed off waivers: DT Adam Reth

CB Kayvon Webster To Visit Three Teams

It’s been a quiet offseason for Kayvon Webster, but it sounds like the cornerback is finally lining up some suitors. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the free agent will visit with the Texans, Bills, and Lions next week.

After the Rams added some high-profile cornerbacks to their roster, the team released Webster back in April. While the 27-year-old hasn’t shown the promise that made him a third-round pick out of South Florida in 2013, he has had some productive stretches. He had one of his best NFL seasons in 2017, compiling 38 tackles, seven passes defended, and one interception in 11 games. A torn Achilles’ tendon ended his season in December, and he finished the year in the lower half of Pro Football Focus’ cornerback rankings.

Each of Webster’s three suitors could use some cornerback depth, especially the Lions. The team is currently rostering only three players at the position behind starters Darius Slay and Teez Tabor, so Webster could easily push for a roster spot. The same is true in Buffalo, where the team has only four backups in Phillip GainesTaron JohnsonLafayette Pitts, and Breon Borders.

It might be a bit tougher for the free agent to earn a roster spot in Houston, as the Texans currently have eight cornerbacks on their roster. However, considering Webster’s productive 2017 season, he could logically push for a key reserve role, as he’d have to compete with the likes of Kevin Johnson, Johnson Bademosi, and Treston Decoud.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Fear LB Steve Longa Tore ACL

It sounds like one of the Lions’ key special teamers suffered a season-ending injury on Friday night. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the organization is fearing that linebacker Steve Longa tore his ACL. The 23-year-old was seen wearing a “bulky brace” following the game, and he’s set to undergo an MRI to determine the severity of the injury.

Longa reportedly went down on a non-contact play during the third quarter of last night’s contest. If the defender is indeed out for the year, it’d be a tough break for a player who has seemingly moved up the depth chart. The former undrafted free agent out of Rutgers compiled 13 tackles in 15 games last season, mostly serving on special teams.

However, it sounded like the team had bigger plans for Longa in 2018. He was working as the Lions’ second-team middle linebacker behind former first-rounder Jarrad Davis, and he even earned some praise from head coach Matt Patricia.

“I really think he’s made great improvements,” Patricia said (via Art Stapleton of NorthJersey.com). “He’s a very instinctual football player, which is probably what helps him on special teams. There’s a lot of feel there that goes into special teams because of the space and dynamic of the play. And then to squeeze that down into the defense, and really understand where the ball’s going, how the fits work and the scheme offensively, how that affects your defense – it’s something I think he’s improved greatly at.”

If Longa misses the entire season, Darnell Sankey would likely move up on the middle linebacker depth chart. The Lions could also give a look at Christian Jones, Jonathan Freeny, Cam Johnson, and Trevor Bates.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Notes: Blount, Cassell, Rudock

When LeGarette Blount starts the 2018 season with the Lions, it will be his third team in as many years. Blount has won the past two Super Bowls, first with the Patriots then with the Eagles. Blount rushed 766 yards and two touchdowns last season in Philadelphia, but wasn’t offered a contract by the team after the season.

When asked if he carried a grudge due to the snub, Blount replied “I’m past that”, according to Matt Lombardo of NJ.com. Blount emphasized that he’s looking forward to playing for the Lions and coach Matt Patricia, saying “fortunately, it worked out for me to wind up here with somebody that I’m familiar with, and like a lot.” Although the move means Blount is unlikely to win a third straight Super Bowl, it doesn’t sound like he’s losing too much sleep over the divorce.

Kerryon Johnson Will Soon Be Lions' No. 1 RB

  • Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press offers his take on the prospects of a few different Lions after the team’s first preseason game several nights ago. He says it is only a matter of time before rookie Kerryon Johnson becomes Detroit’s starting tailback, though Ameer Abdullah also looked good and was the first man up on kick and punt returns. Birkett adds that Jake Rudock‘s rough night, combined with Matt Cassel‘s ties to head coach Matt Patricia, have increased Cassel’s chances of opening the season as the club’s backup QB.

Lions Move Miles Killebrew To LB

  • A fourth-round pick two years ago, Miles Killebrew may be moving to a different position in order to increase his chances of making the Lions‘ 53-man roster. The third-year safety’s been working exclusively as a linebacker in practice as of late, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press notes. Killebrew started three games at safety for the Lions last season, but Birkett adds that the Southern Utah product was working as the fifth safety during camp in a unit that’s now including former full-time cornerback Quandre Diggs. Rookie Tracy Walker was also running ahead of Killebrew.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/9/18

As we get set for preseason football, we’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Detroit Lions

  • Waived from injured reserve: WR Deontez Alexander

New England Patriots

Oakland Raiders

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/4/18

Today’s minor moves:

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Los Angeles Rams

  • Waived/injured: LB Garrett Sickels
  • Waived from injured reserve: WR Aaron Lacombe

Seattle Seahawks

  • Signed: DE Ricky Ali’ifua
  • Waived: C Marcus Henry, DE Eddy Wilson

Tennessee Titans