Ishpeming- The Detroit Lions have made their final cuts. Their 2023 roster is set.
Head Coach Dan Campbell’s toughness has trickled down to his roster. Signing CJ Gardner-Johnson (CJGJ), Teddy Bridgewater, and giving Marvin Jones Jr. a second stint in Detroit give the Lions more leadership. These moves prove that this team is competing for at least the playoffs, and at most the big game, pending a successful trade deadline of buying, rather than selling.
Confusion at the Backfield
The Lions lost Jamaal Williams to the New Orleans Saints this past offseason. This loss could be devastating if their backfield can’t step up their production. Williams finished first in rushing touchdowns, yet only seventh in attempts. However, the Lions took Running Back (RB) Jahmyr Gibbs in the first round of this year’s draft. They also signed David Montgomery, a dependable co-back from the Chicago Bears. They didn’t know who to keep from the preseason as their third RB, so they cut the rest of their options. This confused fans at first, but Detroit’s front office announced the signing of Zonovan “Bam” Knight to their practice squad from the New York Jets. He had some solid games last season behind the green and white backfield, and should easily mold into the Lions’ third string option.
Tight End Position
The one spot on Detroit that seems considerably more vulnerable than the rest, especially on offense, is the tight end (TE). The Lions traded 2021 Pro Bowl Tight End TJ Hockenson to the Minnesota Vikings during last season’s trade deadline, severely weakening their production. The Lions have three unproven tight ends in Sam LaPorta, Brock Wright and James Mitchell. Wright, who is expected to be TE1 this upcoming season, only caught 18 passes in 10 games last year. LaPorta has the highest ceiling, having been taking 34th overall in the 2023 draft. The rookie has a load of pressure to carry on his shoulders if he and this team wish to be successful in 2023.
The 2023 NFL Season is upon us, and the Lions kick off the season with the Kansas City Chiefs on September 7. Every other team will watch in anticipation of their seasons starting September 10-11. Detroit is in primetime, and this team is ready. Michigan state, let’s ride.