Lions Steal Experienced Bears Linebacker From Practice Squad

Josh Woods

Getty Josh Woods grabs a fumble for the Bears during a 2020 game.

The Detroit Lions are shaking up their linebacker room after a tough Week 2, and the first shoe to drop involved a player coming in from the outside.

On Thursday, September 23, it was revealed by Dan Campbell that the Lions would be signing linebacker Josh Woods off the Chicago Bears’ practice squad. Woods will immediately come to the team and add some depth to a spot that has been much maligned in recent weeks.

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Here’s the announcement of the move live as it happened during Campbell’s morning press conference with the Detroit media.

Woods, left unprotected by the team, was vulnerable and the Lions made the move given their need for linebackers at this point. The team is trying to trade Jamie Collins, and that situation has escalated quickly. Without Collins, the Lions are likely to give a large role to Derrick Barnes, but could need someone like Woods for help on special teams and with overall depth for the team’s defense.

Lions Trying to Trade Jamie Collins

Why add Woods? For the Lions, it’s as simple as who they are moving out. After a game on Monday Night Football in which Jamie Collins was the subject of much frustration for the team, it was revealed this week that the Lions could now be looking to deal Collins away and go younger at the position, likely in the form of Barnes, who coaches admit they’re impressed with.

The news was first revealed by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, who posted about the possibility of the Lions exploring a Collins trade on the night of Wednesday, September 22.

Obviously, the Lions are committing to a youth movement across the roster, and it makes sense that linebacker would be a big spot they target for a change. Collins struggled in Detroit’s loss to the Green Bay Packers, and Dan Campbell referenced those struggles after the game, pointing out the way Collins moves is “a little different.”

Clearly, the Lions could be looking for a way out with Collins at this point after a tough start to the season, and could look to pull the training wheels off Barnes quickly if they move him. Woods will add to the depth at the spot, especially seeing as Campbell confirmed Collins would not be on the field until the team resolved his roster situation.

Woods’ Career Stats and Highlights

Woods has been hanging around in Chicago for the last few seasons on the team’s practice squad, and as an undrafted free agent since 2018, he’s been there a while for the team at 25 years old. Woods came into the league in 2018 as a rookie out of Maryland where he put up 107 tackles, 2 interceptions and 6 passes defended. When he came into the league, he worked with Detroit linebacker coach Mark DeLeone, who likely had some influence over the decision to bring Woods into the mix.

In the NFL, Woods hasn’t seen much time, and has only put up 19 tackles and collected 1 fumble recovery in his career. He’s been solid on special teams, though, with 15 snaps there in 2019. At the very least, he does have NFL snaps under his belt, though, which could prove valuable for Detroit.

Woods is also a quality personality too as this interview with Bears Nation Podcast showed:

FUNNIEST INTERVIEW OF ALL TIME WITH BEARS LB JOSH WOODSThe funniest dude on the Bears brought his jokester personality to Bears Nation Podcast on this episode as we talk 2021 season expectations, locker room stories, defensive improvement under Sean Desai and much much more. You'll be doubling over laughing throughout this 50 minute interview,2021-07-22T10:00:18Z

It will be interesting to see what the Lions have in Woods now once he comes into the mix.

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