Detroit Lions will split the team after maintaining the 90-player roster

ALLEN PARK – The Detroit Lions have chosen to divide their squad into two groups to begin training camp.

Under the new NFL coronavirus era rules, teams had to reduce their rosters to 80 players today if they wanted to be eligible to work as a full team during the coronavirus pandemic. But the Lions were left with 90 players by the deadline, which means they must divide their squad into two groups.

A group will consist primarily of rookies and other first-year players, although quarterbacks and injured players may also join that team. The other group will be veteran players.

The advantage of Detroit’s choice is obvious. Cuts on the roster are always tough, especially for players recruited in the later rounds or not at all. The Lions have signed seven undrafted rookies, including tight end Hunter Bryant (Washington), safety Jeremiah Dinson (Auburn), safety Jalen Elliott (Notre Dame), safety Bobby Price (Norfolk State), fullback Luke Sellers (State of South Dakota), bettor Arryn Siposs (Auburn) and long snapper Steven Wirtel (State of Iowa). And making decisions about who stays and who leaves before seeing some of these guys tie onto a shoulder pad is extremely difficult.

But the trade-off for keeping the 90 players is that Detroit rookies won’t be eligible to work with veterans until the roster drops to 80 players. That must happen before August 16.

That means rookies like cornerback Jeff Okudah, running back D’Andre Swift and guards Jonah Jackson and Logan Stenberg, all of whom are expected to compete to start work from Week 1, will not be with the rest of the lineup. . for the start camp. That’s a big deal for a guy like Okudah, who has no choice but to start right away despite playing an extremely difficult position for rookies. He’s already wasted a lot of time, and now he’ll have even less time to socialize with other projected headlines like Desmond Trufant and Justin Coleman.

Of course, the Lions also have the option to cut their roster to 80 players at any time, allowing rookies to join the rest of the team right away. And his first practice without filler remains a long way off, on August 12. The contact period begins on August 17.

Players began briefing for the start of camp on Tuesday, though NFL rules limited them to COVID-19 testing. Players must pass that test, plus two more in the next three days, to enter the building on August 1.