Lions Add Punter, Former SEC Running Back to Practice Squad

Bo Scarbrough

Getty Bo Scarbrough celebrates a big play with Alabama.

The Detroit Lions have made another midweek shake up to their practice squad, adding a couple of familiar faces from big name schools to their roster.

Wednesday morning, the team revealed they had signed running back Bo Scarbrough and punter Matt Wile to the practice squad. Scarbrough is a running back who played his college football at Alabama, while Wile punted at Michigan, just down the road from Detroit in Ann Arbor.

In the corresponding move, the Lions released local product linebacker Anthony Pittman from the practice squad. It’s interesting the team would keep Wile, a punter, so close at hand, but it’s likely insurance in case Sam Martin were to be hurt or have anything nagging down the stretch.

For now, though, the team has a few new players to get a look at midway through the season, one of which comes at a spot of dire need on the roster.

Bo Scarbrough Stats

Working in a major tandem backfield with the Crimson Tide, Scarbrough was a seventh round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in 2018. After being released in Dallas, Scarborough played for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Seattle Seahawks, a place he stuck until 2019, when he was released as part of final roster cuts in late August. Thus far in his career, Scarborough hasn’t registered an NFL statistic to this point in his career.

As a member of the Crimson Tide, Scarbrough was a solid running back. He accounted for 1,512 yards and 20 touchdowns with Alabama, and was the MVP of the Peach Bowl in 2016. While Scarbrough never made an impact in the NFL thus far, he will likely never have a better chance to break through in the league than the one he might get in Detroit.

The Lions ground game is in bad shape given injury and inconsistency, and it will be interesting to see if the Lions elevate Scarbrough to the roster given the struggles of Paul Perkins, J.D. McKissic and Ty Johnson to run the ball consistently in the absence of Kerryon Johnson.

Matt Wile Stats

Wile played with Michigan through some of their tougher times in 2011-2014, but has hung around the league in various roles for various teams since being an undrafted free agent in 2015. He was most recently waived by the Atlanta Falcons, who had used him after injury to their primary punter.

Other than Atlanta, Wile has punted with the Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals, Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings. He’s had 90 punts in the NFL, picking up 4,098 yards with 32 of those punts landing inside the 20 yard line. His longest career punt is 70 yards.

The addition of Wile is interesting for the Lions given they have Martin entrenched at punter. He’s been injury prone before, so it’s wise to wonder if Martin might be fighting something behind the scenes where an emergency punter could be needed to help the team in the short term. Would Wile be a long term option for the Lions? That’s hard to say, but something folks will likely wonder about given the move. It’s certainly uncommon for a team to carry a punter on their practice squad unless something is happening at the position.

For now, the duo is coming to the Lions to be given a look on the practice squad.

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