Corey Robinson

Lions Activate OTs Taylor Decker, Corey Robinson

The Lions have activated a pair of lineman today, adding some much-needed reinforcement to the unit. The team announced on Twitter that they’ve activated left tackle Taylor Decker off the PUP and tackle Corey Robinson off the injured reserve. To make room on the roster, the team has waived wideout Jace Billingsley (via Tim Twentyman on Twitter).

Taylor DeckerDecker suffered a shoulder injury way back during OTAs and subsequently underwent surgery on a torn labrum. A 2016 first-round pick, the Ohio State product started all 16 games last season, with Pro Football Focus rating him as one of the top offensive tackles in the game. Decker will surely be a welcome addition to a Lions’ offensive line that has allowed 26 sacks this season. Offseason addition Greg Robinson was brought in to replace the previously-injured Decker, but the lineman struggled during his tenure in Detroit and was waived-injured earlier this week.

“When Deck’s ready, Deck’s going to play,” head coach Jim Caldwell said earlier this week (via ESPN.com’s Michael Rothstein). “There’s a reason why he’s here, a reason why we picked him where we picked him. He’ll play when he’s ready.”

Robinson, a 2015 seventh-round pick, appeared in 14 games (three starts) for the Lions last season. The 25-year-old has battled through a foot injury since the end of last year, forcing him to miss the majority of the 2017 campaign. Thanks to his ability to play both tackle spots, Robinson should slide in as a top reserve behind Decker and Ricky Wagner.

Billingsley, a 2016 undrafted free agent out of Eastern Oregon State, has appeared in two career games, compiling a pair of special teams tackles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC North Notes: Lions, Tate, Vikes, Sendejo

While initial reports indicated Lions wideout Golden Tate would be sidelined for a “few weeks” after suffering an AC joint sprain in Week 6, the veteran pass-catcher participated in practice today, reports Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter link). Tate’s presence at practice certainly doesn’t mean that he’ll be ready to face the Steelers on Sunday, and there’s every reason that he’ll remain doubtful for Week 8 (especially given that he was recently spotted sporting a sling). But it’s a remarkable turnaround for Tate, and gives him a decent chance at being available in Week 9 even if he can’t go against Pittsburgh.

Here’s more from the NFC North:

  • Tate wasn’t the only Lions player to return to practice this week, as offensive lineman Corey Robinson was on the field as well, according to Justin Rogers of the Detroit News. Unlike Tate, Robinson isn’t currently on the Lions’ active roster, as Detroit placed him on injured reserve in September. The NFL now allows clubs to bring two players back from IR, and Robinson appears to be one of the Lions’ choices — he can practice over the next two weeks, and can be activated in time for Detroit’s November 2 contest against the Browns. Last season, Robinson appeared in 14 games as a reserve and made three starts.
  • Free agent offensive lineman Don Barclay worked out for the Lions today, per Adam Caplan of SiriusXM (Twitter link). Barclay, whom the Packers released off injured reserve earlier this week, appeared in 62 games (24 starts) for the Packers from 2012-16. Given his ability to play guard and tackle, Barclay would give Detroit experience all along the line. The Lions are a bottom-six team in both adjusted line yards and sack rate, and left tackle Greg Robinson — who’s filling in for the injured Taylor Decker — is the league’s second-worst tackle, per Pro Football Focus.
  • Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo will serve his one-game suspension in Week 8 after his appeal was denied, tweets Tom Pelissero of NFL.com. Sendejo, who earned his ban due to a hit on Ravens wide receiver Mike Wallace, will be off the field when Minnesota faces the Browns on Sunday. Instead, the Vikings will turn to Anthony Harris and Jayron Kearse to cover opposite All Pro Harrison Smith. The one-game suspension will cost Sendejo roughly $174K, the amount of a single game check.

Lions To Sign P Jeff Locke

The Lions’ third punting solution will be Jeff Locke, Justin Rogers of the Detroit News tweets. A new punter became necessary after Kasey Redfern tore his ACL and MCL during a botched punt-turned-scramble on Sunday.

Noting Locke’s ability to handle kickoff duties played a key role in this decision, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reported Monday night (via Twitter) the Lions were expected to sign Locke. The Lions worked out Locke on Monday. Locke will venture from one NFC North franchise, the Vikings, to another. The fifth-year punter played four seasons with the Vikings before signing with the Colts in March.

However, the Colts ended up cutting Locke in August. The Lions deployed Redfern only because usual punter Sam Martin suffered an injury over the summer that led to the Lions placing him on their NFI list. Martin is out until at least Week 6 as a result.

The Lions also placed tackle Corey Robinson on IR and signed tackle Emmett Cleary, per Rogers. The Cowboys cut Cleary just before the regular season. The ex-UDFA played in 13 games for Dallas last season and started one.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/9/17

Here are the today’s minor moves.

  • With a ruptured Achilles’ tendon set to end Eric Berry‘s season, the Chiefs officially placed the eighth-year safety on IR Saturday. The team also signed offensive lineman Jordan Devey and safety Steven Terrell. Both Devey and Terrell went to training camp with Kansas City. The Chiefs cut both last weekend. Terrell started in five games as Earl Thomas‘ replacement with the Seahawks last season.
  • The Colts cut safety Earl Wolff with an injury settlement, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. A 2013 fifth-round Eagles pick, Wolff hasn’t played in a regular-season game since 2014. The Redskins signed Wolff to a reserve/futures deal in January but waived him earlier this month.
  • To fill Matt Jones‘ roster spot, the Colts promoted guard Adam Redmond from their practice squad. Redmond signed with the Colts as a UDFA in 2016. He’ll join Deyshawn Bond as a center option for the team, which will be without starter Ryan Kelly to start the season.
  • For now, the Broncos won’t go with a two-Peko setup on their defensive line. They waived defensive tackle Kyle Peko, Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post tweets. The Broncos signed Domata Peko to be their starting nose tackle and have until Sunday afternoon to replace his cousin on the roster in advance of their Monday-night game. Kyle Peko missed time this summer because of an injury.
  • The Lions signed offensive lineman Storm Norton off their practice squad and waived linebacker Nick Bellore, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com reports. Rothstein adds this news could mean tackle Corey Robinson — brought off the PUP list last week — may not be ready to play in Week 1. Robinson missed the preseason with an injury.
  • The Saints released outside linebacker Bryan Braman off IR with an injury settlement, Caplan reports (on Twitter).

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/3/17

Tuesday’s minor moves:

  • The Lions have signed offensive lineman Garrett Reynolds and promoted cornerback Adairius Barnes from the practice squad, as Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com tweets. They’ll replace offensive tackle Corey Robinson (foot) and cornerback Asa Jackson (ankle), who were put on IR. To fill Barnes’ vacated spot on the practice squad, the team signed O-lineman Jason Weaver, a source told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter).
  • The Chiefs have signed outside linebacker Victor Ochi off the Jets’ practice squad and placed linebacker Dadi Nicolas on IR, tweets Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star. Ochi will now go from a team whose season is over to one with a first-round playoff bye.
  • The Seahawks have signed long snapper Tyler Ott, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter link). Ott will take over for Nolan Frese, who’s done for the season because of an ankle injury. Elsewhere on the roster, Seattle will waive safety Tyvis Powell to make room for new addition Devin Hester, per ESPN’s Adam Caplan (Twitter link).

Lions Sign Five Rookies

The Lions announced that they have signed draft picks Alex Carter, Gabe Wright, Michael Burton, Quandre Diggs, and Corey Robinson, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com tweets.

Carter, a third round choice, was the highest draft pick of any of the players that signed today. The former Stanford standout was ranked as the third-best safety prospect of his class coming out of high school. Carter hit the ground running as a true frosh and after a solid 2014 season, he decided to enter his name in the draft early.

First-round choice Laken Tomlinson and second-round pick Ameer Abdullah remain unsigned.

NFC Notes: Eagles, Robinson, Cards, Vikes

Though the draft is over, the Eagles want to add more players, according to head coach Chip Kelly, who says the club want to bring in more offensive lineman and a tight end to replace James Casey (Twitter link via Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com). Philadelphia could look to add UDFAs and/or veteran free agents in the coming weeks.

Let’s look at some more notes from the NFC:

  • Offensive tackle Corey Robinson says the Ravens, Dolphins, and Washington all called him with interest in signing him as a UDFA before he was chosen by the Lions, according to Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • Cardinals GM Steve Keim said he traded up for defensive lineman Rodney Gunter because he thought another team would take Gunter soon, tweets Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. That mystery team’s GM later confirmed to Keim that he would have selected Gunter had he been available, adds Urban.
  • Guard Joe Berger was the only free agent whom the Vikings had interest in retaining, Vikes GM Rick Speilman tells Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link). Berger did end up being the only Minnesota FA to stick around, inking a two-year deal. (The Vikings also re-signed defensive tackle Tom Johnson and long snapper Cullen Loeffler, but both technically signed before the start of free agency).
  • The 49ers drafted Blake Bell as a tight end, but the club thinks the former college quarterback could serve as an emergency QB in the NFL, per Matt Barrows of the San Francisco Bee (Twitter link), who adds that the presence of Bell could affect San Francisco’s roster construction.