The Lions will not activate defensive end Armonty Bryant from suspension before Sunday’s Week 5 contest against the Giants, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter link). Detroit holds a roster exemption on Bryant that expires on Monday, meaning it must either add him to the 53-man roster or release him by that time.
Detroit ranks sixth in defensive DVOA, but that’s largely because of the club’s secondary, as the Lions’ defensive line is just 17th in adjusted sack rate and 28th in adjusted line yards, per Football Outsiders. Anthony Zettel, a 2016 sixth-round pick, has given the Lions incredible production (four sacks) and currently ranks as the league’s No. 9 edge defender, per Pro Football Focus. Ezekiel Ansah and free agent addition Cornelius Washington have been serviceable, as well, meaning Detroit has more depth than originally thought.
That’s not to say a Bryant return wouldn’t be welcomed, however. Kerry Hyder, who had been penciled in as a Detroit starter, is done for the year after tearing his Achilles in the preseason, while defensive tackle Khyri Thornton won’t come back from suspension until Week 7.
Bryant, who was banned for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, has been suspended three times in the past year. The Lions claimed Bryant off waivers from the Browns last October, and while he appeared in just five games in 2016, he did tally an impressive three sacks during his short campaign. In the best season of his four-year career, 2015, Bryant totaled 14 appearances and 5.5 sacks.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.