Lions To Add CB Anthony Averett

Two of the Lions’ three starter-level free agency additions in their secondary have suffered major injuries. The team will attempt to patch up the unit by adding another veteran.

Anthony Averett will join the Lions on a practice squad deal,’s Tom Pelissero tweets. Averett enjoyed a short stint with the 49ers during training camp, but a preseason injury brought his time in San Francisco to a close. A mid-August injury settlement, however, led Averett off the 49ers’ IR list and opens the door to the sixth-year veteran playing in 2023.

The Lions are down both C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Emmanuel Moseley in the secondary. Moseley made his season debut in Week 5, returning from the ACL tear that ended his 49ers tenure early. But the veteran cover man tore his other ACL against the Panthers on Sunday, knocking him out for the season and throwing cold water on potential hopes to use this year as a springboard to a lucrative multiyear deal.

Averett worked out for the Texans last week, per’s Mike Garafolo, providing an indication he has recovered from the unspecified injury he suffered with the 49ers. The former Ravens and Raiders starter will join a Lions team that is still in decent shape at corner, but in light of Moseley’s injury, Aaron Glenn‘s defense will pick up some insurance.

Injuries have hindered Averett for a bit now. Thumb and toe issues shortened Averett’s Raiders season to seven games. While the former Ravens fourth-rounder parlayed his 14-start 2021 season (in relief of Marcus Peters) into a Raiders first-string opportunity, he could not stay on the field. The Raiders then scrapped their 2022 CB setup this offseason, letting Averett and Rock Ya-Sin walk in free agency (and eventually signing Peters), and Averett went without a job until August.

Pro Football Focus did not grade Averett’s 2022 sample especially well, slotting him just inside the top 100 among corners. The Alabama alum worked as a backup to Peters and Marlon Humphrey from 2019-20, but due largely to the past two seasons, the 5-foot-11 cover man has 27 career starts. The Lions have lost Moseley but still have two veterans — Sutton and Will Harris — joining ascending second-year cog Jerry Jacobs. Averett, 28, could take the route many 2020s veterans have by using the P-squad as a quick-forming passage back to an active roster.

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