Detroit Lions add former Michigan State Spartan to the practice squad


The Detroit Lions add a former Michigan State Spartan to their practice squad.

It’s officially all hands on deck for the Detroit Lions, who are decimated by injuries.  The organization will be without one of the league’s top center’s Frank Ragnow, for the remainder of the season and their top pass-rusher from a year ago in Romeo Okwara, along with second-year cornerback and former no. 3 overall draft pick Jeff Okudah.

The Lions have yet to see their starting left tackle, Taylor Decker, this season. However, he seems like he’s close to returning, plus they’ve been without rookie corner Ifeatu Melifonwi, Da’Shawn Hand, Kevin Strong, Tyrell Williams, Trey Flowers for stretches of the season, and more recently Quintez Cephus, who appears to be lost for the season.

These are not just minor injuries; these are impactful injuries to an already limited roster.

This past week the Detroit Lions placed yet another player on Injured reserve, this time special teamer Corey Ballentine who the organization claimed off of waivers from the New York Jets earlier in the season.  Ballentine is a defensive back by trade but plays primarily on special teams.

Prior to Sunday’s game with the Cincinnati Bengals, the Detroit Lions have elevated veteran receiver Geronimo Allison and cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman from their practice squad.

I expect we will see both players in action Sunday.  Allison won’t wow you, but he’s a proven depth receiver that may become a reliable possession option for quarterback Jared Goff.  Robey-Coleman will likely be expected to not only contribute on special teams but also to Detroit’s depleted secondary.

The Detroit Lions signed Shakur Brown to their practice squad.

Shakur Brown, a former standout at Michigan State, had been recently released by the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Brown appeared in 21 games but only made 12 starts at Michigan State but excelled in his third season as a junior.  In that junior campaign, Brown made five interceptions along with defending five passes and recording 25 tackles.

Brown is a bit green (pun not intended) and perhaps would have benefited from returning to Michigan State for one more season. Still, there is plenty of talent there, and we might see some of it as early as next week as the Lions’ secondary is operating with basically a skeleton crew due to injuries.

The 22-year old proved to be versatile and feisty, working in man coverage during his final year with the Spartans.  Brown may be a project for defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn that may pay off in the long run.  Brown went undrafted in the 2021 NFL Draft and was someone I had hoped the Lions took a look at in the later rounds. Hopefully, the organization found itself an eventual diamond in the rough.

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To make room on the practice squad, the Detroit Lions released offensive lineman Darrin Paulo.