Wilson, 27, had started nine games and played on three-quarters of Detroit’s defensive snaps so far this season, but he hadn’t been effective, as he graded as a bottom-15 NFL safety, per Pro Football Focus. However, Wilson had been a solid starter as recently as 2016, and it’s fair to wonder if injuries — Wilson has now hurt his shoulder three times this year, per Birkett — have affected his level of performance.
Without Wilson on the active roster, the Lions will turn to 2016 fourth-round pick Miles Killebrew to play safety opposite Glover Quin. Killebrew has played roughly half of Detroit’s snaps in 2017 (and posted better results than Wilson, at least according to PFF’s metrics). With Quin playing at a Pro Bowl level as a deep safety, Killebrew will be asked to play closer to the line of scrimmage.
Wilson, a second-round pick of the Patriots in 2012, is scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency next spring when his current two-year contract expires.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.