Hours before the Detroit Lions take the field in Green Bay, the team made a change to the bottom of the active roster.
The Lions signed defensive tackle John Atkins from the practice squad. In the corresponding move, Detroit released rookie wideout, Tom Kennedy.
Atkins has been with the Lions since last season. Most of that time has been on the practice squad, but he did make his NFL debut as a rookie against the Minnesota Vikings in December.
He played in the preseason but did not make enough of an impression to earn a spot on the initial 53-man roster. With Da’Shawn Hand and Mike Daniels both injured, the move makes sense from a depth perspective along the defensive line.
Kennedy is subject to waivers, which will be processed on Tuesday. If the undrafted rookie and former lacrosse standout clear waivers, he can re-sign with the Lions practice squad.
The Detroit Lions elevated defensive tackle John Atkins from the team’s practice squad heading into Monday night’s game at the Green Bay Packers.
The Packers also made moves before the game, promoting tight end Evan Baylis from the practice squad and releasing cornerback Tremon Smith.
Atkins’ presence on the roster comes after fellow defensive linemen Mike Daniels and Da’Shawn Hand were ruled out for the game against the Packers. Daniels didn’t practice last week and Hand didn’t travel with the team to Green Bay.
Also, starting defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson was listed as questionable with a knee injury that limited him at the end of last week.
Atkins, undrafted out of Georgia in 2018, spent a lot of last season on the team’s apply squad. He received a late-season promotion to the active roster after Hand was placed on injured reserve.
The Lions waived wide receiver Tom Kennedy to make room for Atkins. Baylis has spent time on Green Bay’s practice squad and active roster since the final week of the 2018 season. The Packers claimed Smith off waivers from Kansas City on Sept. 16. He played in three games on special teams.