Dean took the starting role the Eagles had in store for him in Week 1, but a foot injury interrupted his second NFL campaign. The 22-year-old was poised to return ahead of Sunday’s game by returning to practice earlier this week, though, and a first-team role is expected to await him upon suiting up. Dean taking on a heavy workload will relegate Nicholas Morrow (who was promoted from the practice squad) to backup duty despite the latter’s strong performances so far.
Seattle has seen fellow corners Devon Witherspoonand Riq Woolenenjoy considerable success, but the team’s secondary will be shorthanded without Bryant. The latter will miss at least the next four weeks as a result of the IR move as he recovers from a toe injury. The 2022 fourth-rounder, who has seen his defensive snap share jump from 65% to 77% this year, has not played since Week 2.
Mosely tore his left ACL in Week 5 last season, an injury which ended his campaign and dealt a signficant blow to his free agent value. The 27-year-old tore his right ACL yesterday, Schefter notes. Instead of locking down a starting role in Detroit’s revamped secondary, Mosely will now be forced to begin the lengthy rehab process again.
Across five season with the 49ers, he established himself as a starting-caliber cover man. The major knee injury suffered in his contract year unexpectedly put him Detroit’s price range, and paved the way for a move out of the Bay Area for the first time in his career. Mosely signed a one-year, $6MM deal – a sign of the damage done to his market value by the injury, which required a cleanup procedure in August.
That surgery further delayed his 2023 debut, but expectations were still high for him once he was able to suit up. Moseley recorded one interception in each season between 2019-22, totaling 33 pass breakups over that span. The former UDFA generally put up strong coverage numbers as well, making him a prized acquisition for the Lions as part of their defensive renovations this offseason. Unless he is retained on what will no doubt be another low-cost deal, Mosely’s Detroit tenure will have lasted just two defensive snaps.
The Lions signed Cameron Suttonin free agency, and the ex-Steelers starter will remain a crucial part of their CB room moving forward. The same is true of second-round rookie Brian Branch, whose impressive performances in the summer as a slot corner forced C.J. Gardner-Johnsonto move to safety. Third-year Lion Jerry Jacobs– who has gotten off to a flying start with three interceptions – will also be a key member of the team’s secondary, a unit which will be without Moseley for the remainder of the season.
Two of the Lions’ three free agency secondary additions are facing extended rehab timetables. Gardner-Johnson’s torn pec is not certain to sideline him for the rest of the season, but that is in play.
September 28th, 2023 at 12:27pm CST by Sam Robinson
After ranking at or near the bottom across the board defensively last season, the Lions made a number of investments this offseason. Most of them came in the secondary. The team signed three expected starters and drafted a fourth in the second round. Two of those starters will not be available against the Packers tonight.
The Lions are preparing to incorporate Moseley as a regular immediately. Dan Campbell said (via the Detroit News’ Justin Rogers) the free agent pickup is expected to rotate with Jerry Jacobs upon debuting. Jacobs will still have a regular gig and a chance to fend off Moseley, but Detroit prioritized the latter in free agency. GM Brad Holmes said Moseley would have likely been out of the Lions’ price range had he not suffered an ACL tear in October 2022.
“I think, more than anything, it will probably be by series,” Campbell said of Detroit’s upcoming CB rotation. “Certainly give [Moseley] a couple in a row where he gets a good feel and I think most of it will be we’ll put a governor on his reps so that we’ll be smart about that as he comes back. Then, really from there, it’s how does he feel?
“I think everybody feels pretty good about as he goes out there, he’s going to get his legs back under him pretty quick. Certainly, we’ll see where that goes. The good news is if it’s not quite there yet then we still have Jerry and we’ll battle it out. We’re fortunate to have both those guys.”
Moseley, 27, has undergone two surgeries, the second coming this summer, and Rogers notes he would likely have debuted already were it not for a summer hamstring strain. Moseley started 33 games for the 49ers and added five postseason starts — including Super Bowl LIV. He operated as a boundary corner in San Francisco and, after signing a one-year deal worth $6MM, will be expected to start alongside Cameron Sutton and nickel Brian Branch in Detroit.
This represents a big year for Moseley, who will need to show sufficient form following the knee injury. Moseley signed a lower-level deal (two years, $9.38MM) in 2021 to stay in San Francisco. After his one-year Lions pact, time is running out for the sixth-year defender to score a lucrative payday.
Gardner-Johnson resides in the same boat, though he has a bit more time to cash in. The 25-year-old defender, however, has seen a torn pectoral muscle hijack his Motor City platform season. Although this injury frequently ends players’ seasons, Campbell has not ruled out the possibility of the starting safety returning late in this campaign.
Campbell said during a WXYT radio interview (h/t Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press) Gardner-Johnson is not a lock to be shut down. The Lions will likely hold back one of their eight IR activations for CJGJ. Tracy Walker, who suffered an Achilles tear early last season, started in place of Gardner-Johnson against the Falcons. Walker made for an unusual backup, having signed a three-year, $25MM deal after 34 games from 2019-21.
Gardner-Johnson had aimed to use this Lions season to command a better market than he did in March, when he agreed to a one-year deal worth $6.5MM with the Lions. While it is possible the Lions will have both their one-year DB investments — Gardner-Johnson and Moseley — on the field together later this season, the team has some backups with extensive starter experience holding down the fort.
Additionally, the Lions are on track to have two of their offensive starters — Taylor Decker and David Montgomery — back tonight. The veteran left tackle and UFA running back addition are slated to play, Rogers adds. Decker has missed the past two weeks; Montgomery was sidelined for Week 3.
Rashan Gary is all set to debut in Week 1, completing his recovery from the ACL tear that ended his 2022 season in November. But the Packers will begin their top pass rusher on a pitch count to start the season, Matt LaFleur confirmed (via Packers Wire’s Zach Kruse). This could open the door for early-season Lukas Van Ness development. The Packers still roster Preston Smith, who is going into his fifth season with the team, and Van Ness contributed as an inside and outside rusher at Iowa. The team has versatile linebacker Justin Hollins and 2022 fifth-rounder Kingsley Enagbare, who became a primary starter after Gary went down last season, as options while Gary ramps up to a full workload.
Additionally on the Green Bay injury front, David Bakhtiari, Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs are viewed as game-time decisions for Sunday’s opener against the Bears. Bakhtiari, who has seen knee trouble sidetrack his career to a degree over the past two-plus years, is listed on the injury report with more knee trouble. He expects to play, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein tweets. Both starting receivers are battling hamstring maladies and have not practiced this week. Here is the latest from the NFC North:
As for tonight’s game, the Lions ruled out cornerback Emmanuel Moseley. Although Detroit activated Moseley off its active/PUP list before roster-cutdown day, the free agency addition underwent a second knee procedure this summer and was viewed as a long shot to start the year on time. Moseley is finishing up a recovery from an October 2022 ACL tear.
T.J. Hockenson‘s four-year, $66MM Vikingsextension comes with $29.29MM fully guaranteed, according to OverTheCap. That number checks in fourth among tight ends — behind Kyle Pitts‘ rookie deal and the extensions for Mark Andrews and George Kittle. Hockenson’s 2024 base salary is fully guaranteed. His $10.9MM 2025 base salary is guaranteed for injury at signing, per Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, who notes that number shifts to a full guarantee a year early (March 2024). The Vikings did not use the year-out guarantee structure for Hockenson’s 2026 setup, giving them more flexibility. Hockenson has $2.3MM of his 2026 base ($15.4MM) guaranteed for injury; it does not shift to a full guarantee until March 2026, giving the Vikings additional flexibility. Hockenson’s cap number will climb from $5MM this year to $14.1MM in 2024, Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune tweets.
We knew the Lions were going to make a handful of QB transactions leading up to today’s deadline, with Hendon Hooker destined for NFI and Nate Sudfeld tearing his ACL. Of course, the team made many additional moves to get to the 53-man roster limit:
Craig Reynolds spent the past two seasons with the Lions, and he made the most of his opportunities while on the field. He was limited to 14 games across the two seasons, but the RB still posted 500 yards from scrimmage on 94 touches. With a new-look depth chart in 2022, Reynolds found himself on the outside looking in.
The same goes for Benny Snell, who joined the organization earlier this offseason. The running back has spent his entire career in Pittsburgh, starting five of his 63 appearances. He didn’t miss a game for Pittsburgh over the past three seasons, although he’s seen a drop in productivity. After compiling 429 yards from scrimmage during the 2020 campaign, Snell has only collected 218 yards in 34 games since.
The Titans used Jackson as an outside corner during his Tennessee tenure, and the Giants stationed Darnay Holmes in the slot last year. They also drafted Cor’Dale Flott as a slot option in last year’s third round. But Holmes has struggled during camp, per Leonard. Hawkins, chosen in the sixth round out of Old Dominion, does not have slot experience. Jackson’s willingness as a tackler would benefit the Giants if they followed through on this, though the move is not set in stone. Holmes still operated as the team’s lead slot defender in a joint practice against the Lions on Wednesday, Dan Duggan of The Athletic tweets. Hawkins being in consideration for a regular role would be notable for a Giants team that struggled for CB depth last year.
Here is the latest from NFL secondaries:
Emmanuel Moseley‘s cleanup procedure on the ACL he tore last year has led to an unexpected delay in his return. Moseley reported to camp late due to the surgery, and the Lions placed the free agent signing on the active/PUP list. While Dan Campbell said last week the team expected Moseley back soon, the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett notes no timetable exists for the ex-49er’s return, adding that he may not be a lock to start the season on time. This surgery has provided another delay for Moseley, who signed a one-year, $6MM deal that came with $2MM guaranteed. Campbell confirmed Moseley’s absence to start camp was excused.
Fellow UFA addition Cameron Sutton and Jerry Jacobs have worked as Detroit’s starting cornerbacks in camp, and while the return of Moseley will give the Lions another starter-level corner, rookie UDFA Starling Thomas has made enough of an impression that Birkett added he is a good bet to make the 53-man roster. He of a 4.28-second 40-yard dash at UAB’s pro day, Thomas has been running with the Lions’ second-stringers at corner alongside Will Harris.
Moseley reportedly had a small clean-up procedure on his knee the other day as he continues to come back from last year’s ACL tear. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, it doesn’t appear to be a major setback, and head coach Dan Campbell expects Moseley back on Monday.
The news on Harris’s retirement comes from KPRC 2’s Aaron Wilson, who reports that the two sides “are parting ways as (Harris) plans to retire.” If this is truly the end of the road for Harris, then the transaction puts a cap on a five-year career that saw Harris rack up 11 total tackles, two tackles for loss, and three quarterback hits in the NFL.
Turk was urgently brought on as an undrafted rookie out of Oklahoma to compete withfree agent additionJake Bailey, formerly with the Patriots. The punter competition may be over quickly as Bailey is the only punter on the roster now.
Trice, the Steelers’ first of two seventh-round picks this year, suffered a non-contact injury at camp yesterday. His placement on injured reserve indicates that his rookie season has unfortunately come to an end before it had the chance to begin.
The Lions spent considerable free agent and draft resources to revamp their secondary, leaving optimism for improved play on the backend in 2023. A key position battle looms for the unit in training camp, though.
Cameron Sutton– who signed a three-year, $33MM contract in free agency – is in line to serve as Detroit’s top outside cornerback this season. Expectations will be high for the ex-Steeler given not only the terms of his deal, but also the vacancy he is filling (one which was once occupied, in part, by former No. 3 pick Jeff Okudah). The Lions also inked C.J. Gardner-Johnsonto a one-year pact, but he is expected to primarily play in the slot this season.
General manager Brad Holmes recently admitted, via Colton Pouncey of The Athletic, that Moseley’s injury – and the resultant damage it did to his value on the open market – was likely necessary for Detroit to be able to afford him (subscription required). The 27-year-old was in the midst of his second consecutive campaign as a full-time starter for the 49ers last season before the ACL tear, so recovering from it could give the Lions a low-cost, high-upside contributor. Moseley’s progress with respect to rehab has been encouraging to date, Twentyman notes.
Jacobs, meanwhile, spent the beginning of the 2022 season rehabbing his own ACL tear from the previous season. Upon his return to the field, though, he was a standout performer on an otherwise disappointing Lions secondary. The 25-year-old racked up one one interception, eight pass deflections and 42 tackles in eight contests. He also allowed a completion percentage of just 53.3% in coverage, pointing to signficant potential moving forward.
With Moseley still rehabbing, Jacobs logged the majority of first-team reps during spring practices. Presuming the former is able to participate in training camp, though, it will be interesting to watch how the workload is divided between the two (as well as second-round rookie Brian Branch, who showcased a diverse skillset during his college career). Regardless of how their individual competition plays out, a signficant step forward on defense in general, and in the secondary in particular, should be expected in the Motor City.
Despite narrowly missing the playoff field in 2022, the Lions finished last in the league in total defense and in the bottom-five in scoring defense. Part of GM Brad Holmes‘ efforts to improve upon that performance included a secondary overhaul this offseason.
Of that trio of free agent newcomers, only Sutton landed a multiyear deal, and he is expected to occupy one of the starting boundary corner spots while Gardner-Johnson operates as the Lions’ primary nickel. As Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press notes, Moseley will likely start opposite Sutton as an outside-the-numbers CB, though he will be competing with Jerry Jacobs for the gig. He will also need to get healthy.
Per Birkett, Moseley — who sustained an ACL tear in October as a member of the 49ers — sat out OTAs and mandatory minicamp as he continues to rehab his injury. He did take some first-string walk-through reps, and he impressed the coaching staff by staying with the team for the final week of OTAs after head coach Dan Campbell had excused most of his players.
Moseley, a 2018 UDFA, broke through as a key player for the 49ers during the 2019 season and landed a two-year, $10.1MM contract in March 2021. Unfortunately, a knee injury and an ankle malady forced him to miss six games during the 2021 regular season — though he did return to play every snap of the team’s three-game playoff run — and his October ACL tear dampened his market during his first foray into unrestricted free agency, which forced him to accept a one-year deal from the Lions worth up to $6MM (according to OverTheCap.com, Moseley’s $2MM signing bonus accounts for his only guaranteed money, and his contract also includes a $3MM base salary and up to $1MM in per-game roster bonuses).
When he has been on the field, the Tennessee product has generally played well. He earned a solid 68.7 overall grade from Pro Football Focus in 2021 and a 70.9 mark for his limited work in 2022, and PFF thought highly of his coverage abilities in both years. Underscoring those metrics are the miniscule 65.6 and 66.9 quarterback ratings that he has yielded over the past two seasons, and he also has the ability to line up in the slot should DC Aaron Glenn want to move Gardner-Johnson around the formation.
Jacobs, though, will represent worthy competition, and he will be highly-motivated to retain a significant role on the Lions’ defense as he enters a platform year. The 2021 UDFA has played in 25 games (17 starts) for Detroit over the past two seasons, and while PFF assigned him a poor 55.8 overall grade in 2022, he earned a 65.8 score in his rookie campaign. Quarterbacks throwing in his direction last year had a meager passer rating of 70.0.
Birkett did not offer any insight as to Moseley’s Week 1 availability, but it does not sound as if he will miss too much regular season time, if any.
“He’s anxious man,” new cornerbacks coach Dre Bly said of Moseley. “He was a pretty daggoone good player out there in San Fran. He’s from North Carolina, went to Tennessee, played with [Sutton], so those guys are kind of wired the same and so just to see his fire to get back on the field, his commitment to working and rehabbing, it tells you about the man. When most guys are traveling and vacationing, he’s here working to make sure he’s ready when we come back to camp. So I’m excited to have a chance to work with him. I think he brings a tremendous amount of leadership and experience to our room and can’t wait to see what comes from that.”
The Lions have now agreed to terms with two free agent cornerbacks. They are bringing in Emmanuel Moseley, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter).
A former 49ers starter, Moseley is coming off an injury-shortened season. He suffered an ACL tear in October. The Lions are giving him a one-year, $6MM deal, per Schefter. This follows Detroit’s Cameron Sutton signing.
While Sutton profiles as a high-value get, given his market, the Lions have been a bit more cautious regarding their other defensive additions. They have now added Moseley and re-signed three of their own — defensive linemen Isaiah Buggs and John Cominsky and linebacker Alex Anzalone — as they attempt to move on from a season in which Aaron Glenn’s unit ranked last in scoring defense.
Moseley stayed in San Francisco on a two-year, $9.4MM contract back in 2021, and he played a starting role for the first of the team’s back-to-back 2020s seasons that ended in the NFC championship game. Moseley, who turns 27 next week, started a career-high 11 games that season. He added three postseason starts that year, but the ACL tear sustained the following season squashed the momentum he was building.
Had that ACL setback not occurred, this $6MM price may not come too close. A 49ers UDFA find, the 5-foot-11 cover man allowed passer ratings — as the closest defender in coverage — of 65.6 and 66.9 in 2021 and ’22. Pro Football Focus also viewed the young defender well, ranking him just outside the top 30 in both 2019 and ’21. He notched a pick-six for San Francisco’s No. 1-ranked defense prior to going down last season.
Moseley will join Sutton in attempting to elevate Detroit’s cornerback crew. The team still has Bob Quinn-era draftee Jeff Okudah on its payroll, though the Ohio State product has not panned out as expected. Once on the extension radar, Amari Oruwariye is now a free agent. The Lions ranked 30th against the pass last season; they might not be done augmenting their corner contingent.