Detroit Lions Continue to Scrounge for Talent

Bjoern Werner is one of four players the Detroit Lions worked out on Tuesday. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions were busy on Tuesday, working out several free agents.

What should stand out isn’t necessarily the names of the players but the positions. While searching for a tight end certainly makes sense, working out defensive ends is a bit of a head scratcher.

The Lions appear fairly deep at end even with top dog Ziggy Ansah currently sidelined with a high ankle sprain. Kerry Hyder and his four sacks in three games have been a pleasant surprise. Devin Taylor struggled in Green Bay while battling an ankle issue of his own, but he’s been quite solid otherwise. Wallace Gilberry is a versatile veteran, while rookie Anthony Zettel fared okay in his first action.

Working out Coples and Werner, two former first-round busts, could be an indication Ansah’s injury is more severe than initially feared. Ansah is already expected to miss Sunday’s contest in Chicago, but his status beyond that is unknown.

Coples is similar to Ansah in size, though he lacks the twitch and strength-to-speed qualities that make Ziggy a special pass rusher. Werner washed out quickly off a bad Indianapolis defense and has worked out for several teams in the last few weeks.

No Sale

It seems as if the Detroit Lions might have just been covering their bases with the defensive ends…

Neither tight end signed either, though there is the potential for one to return to Detroit quickly if called upon. Backup TE Cole Wick played 16 snaps in Green Bay and even hauled in a 13-yard pass. That’s as many passes as Cunningham caught in two seasons with the Colts and Rams. He’s a blocking specialist, a role Khari Lee holds for now though Lee did not play on offense against the Packers.

Robinson was a fourth-round pick in 2012 but never translated his considerable athleticism into anything productive for the Giants. He caught 5 passes in 19 career games and hasn’t played since 2014. Like Werner, he’s worked out for several teams but has not signed.

Joique Bell News

In related news, a former Detroit Lions favorite is now a Chicago Bear. Running back Joique Bell, whom the Lions worked out last week, signed in Chicago to help the Bears bolster their injury-ravaged roster. Former Michigan State RB Jeremy Langord is out at least a month, one of many Bears starters who will miss Sunday’s game.

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