The Detroit Lions are clearly not content with their depth on defense.
In the last couple days, the Lions have added three defensive players – a tackle, a linebacker and a cornerback – with a combined total of 28 years of NFL experience.
The newcomers include tackle Justin Bannan (6-foot-3, 305 pounds), linebacker Rocky McIntosh (6-2, 235) and cornerback Rashean Mathis (6-1, 200).
Bannan, 34, brings 11 years of experience, including last season with Denver. He was a fifth-round pick by Buffalo in 2002 coming out of Colorado.
McIntosh, 30, has seven years of experience, most recently with St. Louis. He was a second-round pick by Washington in 2006 out of Miami (Fla.)
Mathis, 32, spent his first 10 seasons with Jacksonville, which drafted him in the second round in 2003 out of Bethune-Cookman. Mathis was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2006.
The moves come in the wake of Thursday’s lethargic exhibition loss at Cleveland.
“The only message sending is we’re going to keep trying to add good football players,” coach Jim Schwartz told reporters following Saturday’s practice. “That wasn’t a reaction to anyone’s play or anything else. It was more the opportunity to get those guys. We’re happy to have all of them. We have to get them up to speed pretty quickly to be able to get them on the field. All those guys have had experience. They have been through this before.”
The Lions also added another defensive tackle, John Drew, an undrafted rookie from North Carolina Central.
To make room on the 90-man training-camp roster, Detroit released cornerbacks Trevor Coston and Conroy Black, linebacker Adrian Moten and defensive end Braylon Broughton.
The Lions have two more preseason games remaining, including next Thursday at home against New England, before having to settle on a 53-man roster. The regular-season opener is September 8 against Minnesota.