The Lions have added another piece to their defensive line, signing free agent defensive tackle Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, according to Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com. Defensive end Phillip Hunt was cut to make room for the club’s new defender.
Kitchen, 27, earned 279 defensive snaps for the Browns in 2014, making 27 tackles. While his play in the middle was unspectacular, the Kent State product was solid enough in his three years in Cleveland that the team felt comfortable tendering him a one-year contract offer worth $1.542MM when he hit restricted free agency. However, that contract was non-guaranteed, and the Browns waived him prior to the start of the regular season.
While it’s not clear if Kitchen will see the field right away in Detroit, the team needed to add some depth at defensive tackle after Tyrunn Walker suffered a season-ending leg injury this week. With Haloti Ngata‘s Week 5 availability also in doubt due to a calf issue, the Lions have signed Kitchen and veteran Andre Fluellen so far this week.
Kitchen was one of several players to work out for the Lions this week, with ex-Jets defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis also getting a look from the club.