2017 Detroit Lions Bubble Watch: We have no idea what’s happening at WR

It’s nearly impossible to predict what the Detroit Lions will do at wide receiver on cut down day. For many Detroit Lions players, their days in Honolulu Blue are numbered. In about 72 hours, the Lions’ roster will be cut by over 35 percent.

Heading into the final preseason game, there are still a ton of positions up for grabs: the fourth tight end spot, fourth or fifth wide receiver, backup offensive tackle, nickel corner back, backup safety, and defensive line depth all across the board.

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With so much on the line in the next few days, we gathered the Pride Of Detroit staff once more to give their thoughts on all of the Lions players on the bubble. Here’s who they think will make Detroit’s final 53-man roster, and who will be on the outside looking in.

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Off the bubble: TE Tim Wright (released), WR Keshawn Martin (released), OT Cyrus Kouandjio (waived)

I don’t think the third preseason game against the New England Patriots changed the landscape of the roster too much, but Detroit’s early-week transactions sure did.

The release of Tim Wright now has Cole Wick as a near consensus in. Although, there’s still a very good chance that the Lions choose only to carry three tight ends on the roster, which is what Justin Simon and Andrew Kato are banking on.

Waiving Cyrus Kouandjio was a pretty shocking move considering the Lions’ depth at tackle right now. Despite the move, only five of nine staffers could still fit Storm Norton on their roster, showing just how little many think of Norton right now. Still, he’s won over four contributors based on the Kouandjio cut.

Finally, the release of Keshawn Martin has created chaos at wide receiver. There’s very little consensus not only on who the Lions keep now, but how many receivers will end up on the final roster. It seemed like mostly everyone was leaning towards five, but with Martin now gone, the four option certainly seems plausible.

But look how confused that has left the Pride of Detroit staff:

  • Jace Billingsley: 5 ins, 4 outs
  • TJ Jones: 5 ins, 4 outs
  • Jared Abbrederis: 5 ins, 4 outs

Even more confusing, five of nine staff members have the Lions carrying two of those three receivers (and five total WRs), while four are only choosing one (and four total WRs).

The Lions entered training camp with a (good) mess on their hands at wide receiver and four weeks later, little has been decided. Thursday night should be exciting.

Off the bubble: Khyri Thornton (consensus out and suspended anyways)

New to Bubble Watch: LB Steve Longa (potential sixth linebacker)

There wasn’t as much change on the defensive side of the ball, as the Lions have yet to make any cuts on defense. However, Detroit did lose Jordan Hill for the season, which is probably why rookie defensive tackle Jeremiah Ledbetter continues to be a lock to make the roster.

I also added Steve Longa to Bubble Watch this week, thinking some staffers may squeeze him on the roster as a sixth linebacker (or potentially even beating out a player like Paul Worrilow). Little did I know that every single staff member thinks he’ll be in. Longa has stood out on special teams in the preseason and even played some decent defense, albeit against lower competition. Still, this strikes me as a surprise.

The big movement this week happened at safety, and there’s really no rhyme or reason for the change, other than natural indecision.

It makes sense that people are losing faith in Don Carey, as he has been sidelined with an injury and has yet to play in a single preseason game. But the flip-flopping between Alex Carter and Charles Washington seems random at this point. For now, Carter is in a commanding lead with six ins vs. Washington’s one.

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