Detroit Lions sign WR Tom Kennedy from practice squad, drop DL Kevin Strong
ALLEN PARK – The Detroit Lions have announced a series of roster changes ahead of Sunday’s game in Cleveland, signing wide receiver Tom Kennedy from their practice team and relinquishing defensive lineman Kevin Strong.
Detroit also bred kicker Aldrick Rosas and inside offensive lineman Tommy Kraemer from their practice squad. Rosas’s rise is interesting because the Lions have hired kicker Riley Patterson from the New England practice team, which means he’ll be on the 53-man for at least the next three games. Patterson is a rookie with no career attempts. Rosas made the Pro Bowl in 2018, but has struggled since.
Kennedy has been in four games this year, catching a pass on two targets for 15 yards, adding four kick returns for 89 yards. He joins a receiving corps including Kalif Raymond, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Josh Reynolds, Trinity Benson and KhaDarel Hodge. Benson is questionable with a knee injury, making a surprise appearance in Friday’s injury report. Reynolds is set to make his debut for the Lions, with Raymond and St. Brown likely to dominate reps again.
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The receiving room will likely catch some assists from quarterback Tim Boyle, with Jared Goff not training all week after suffering an oblique injury. Boyle has been out since breaking his thumb in the preseason, which marks his first chance to debut in the league.
Strong has struggled to stay available over the previous two seasons. He has only appeared in one game this year, recording 24 defensive snaps in Game 1. The former undrafted free agent has rebounded between the roster and the practice squad at times over the past three years. Strong was activated from the casualty reserve earlier in the month, with the return of Da’Shawn Hand making it difficult for him to stay on the list.
Detroit’s defensive line includes Michael Brockers, Nick Williams, John Penisini, Hand and rookies Alim McNeill and Levi Onwuzurike. Shots are harder to come by since Hand’s return, with McNeill and Onwuzurike seeing fewer shots last week.
“These guys get their games, man,” Brockers said of the rookies. “They are in there. I mean, the team is throwing them in the fire, pretty much, these guys got drafted and that’s what they want to see, and they did a really good job when they’re in there. The most important thing is to understand blockages and blockage patterns, different little things as a seasoned vet that I have seen throughout my years. I can just give them little wisdom here and there, but other than that, they’ve done a really good job while they’re out there, getting these reps, being in this fire so early in their careers.