Lions Sign Running Back to Practice Squad, Release Defender

Wes Hills

Getty Wes Hills celebrates a preseason touchdown in 2019.

It’s been a while since the Detroit Lions made a roster move, but they have made one as they come off their bye week. Running back Wes Hills was signed to the practice squad while defensive end Eric Lee was released, the team revealed on Wednesday morning.

Hills comes to Detroit from the Arizona Cardinals where he spent time during the 2019 offseason. Prior to that, he went to college at Delaware and then Slippery Rock. Those schools haven’t been hotbeds of talent, so Hills had to show off what he could do during training camp first and foremost.

While he didn’t make the roster, Hills still opened some eyes for what he has been able to do on the field. Lee, meanwhile, is moved off the roster once again, something which has defined the early part of his Lions career. He’s seen starts in games, but has not stuck on the team consistently.

What Hills Brings

An old school bruiser back, Hills is 6-2 and 218 which is beefy for a runner in this day in age. The Lions like their running back depth, and have churned through some guys at the position looking to find a backup for their practice squad that can stick.

In Hills, the team gets their hands on a player who was said to be a rising star during training camp that opened some eyes. He was a player who registered a few key plays at last year’s Senior Bowl as well, and someone who looks the part of a player who can hang around a roster given what he can do up front. The Lions have a power rush attack that is physical under Darrell Bevell, and Hills could fit that dynamic for the team if there is a need for that on the roster at some point this season.

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Lee a Telling Move

The move to release Lee could speak volumes about how the Lions feel of their defensive front depth coming off the bye. Detroit had a ton of pieces banged up including Mike Daniels and Da’Shawn Hand, but the move to release Lee, a guy who has given teams snaps before during the NFL regular season, could mean that problem is soon to be remedied or completely remedied at this point in time.

Health was the biggest obstacle to start the season for the defense, and with the bye week coming at the perfect time, it seems that the Lions now feel very confident that they have enough bodies up front in order to grind out the rest of the season up front.

Lee has been on Detroit’s practice squad before, in addition to playing with the New England Patriots, where Matt Patricia got to know him prior to his stay in Detroit. If Lee doesn’t get picked up in the coming weeks or months, it would not be a shock to see him resurface with the Lions at some point given the comfort the team has with him in their scheme. That would be especially true if there was an injury in future weeks along the defensive front.

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