The Detroit Lions added former Cleveland Browns defensive end Corey Lemonier to the roster on Thursday and waived cornerback Adairius Barnes.
The Detroit Lions announced on Thursday the addition of defensive end Corey Lemonier off waivers from the Cleveland Browns. Detroit also released former undrafted free agent cornerback Adairius Barnes to make room for Lemonier on the 53-man roster.
Lemonier spent three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers after being drafted by San Francisco in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He appeared in 42 games for the 49ers, including two starts, and picked up 27 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a safety.
He was released by the 49ers in September and claimed the next day by the Cleveland Browns, for whom he played in eight games this season. He made eight tackles and two sacks, forcing a fumble and recovering one. He was waived by the Browns on Wednesday and claimed by the Lions on Thursday.
Lemonier is an undersized pass rusher who has exceptional athleticism. His straight-line speed ranks among the highest at his position and he scores above average in just about every athletic measurable.
Lemonier adds depth to a Lions’ pass rush which will be without Armonty Bryant for the rest of the season after he was placed on injured reserve earlier this month. The Lions’ top pass rusher, Ezekiel Ansah, has also been dealing with injuries all season long.
Adairius Barnes was signed by the Lions as an undrafted free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft and appeared in seven games, including one start at cornerback, and made three tackles. It seemed as though Barnes would be the replacement for Quandre Diggs in the nickel after Diggs suffered a season-ending pectoral injury, but the Lions clearly have other plans at the position, at least in the short term. It is likely, however, that Detroit will attempt to add Barnes to the practice squad if he clears waivers.
The Lions take on the New York Giants on the road on Sunday at 1:00 on FOX.