The Detroit Lions are calling on some seasoned help to fill a hole at defensive line.
The team announced on November 18 that veteran defensive tackle Quinton Bohanna earned an elevation from the practice squad for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears. Bohanna, who started nine games for the Dallas Cowboys last season, will help add depth after Isaiah Buggs was ruled out with an illness.
Quinton Bohanna’s Strong Preseason
As Reid Hanson of USA Today’s Cowboys Wire noted, Bohanna came to Dallas with big potential. The 6-foot-4, 360-pound “mountain” was a sixth-round draft pick in 2021 and “possessed both enormous mass and a shockingly quick step off the snap,” Hanson wrote.
“Bohanna was the rare mix the Cowboys look for in a 1-tech defensive tackle,” Hanson added. “He was stout enough to 2-gap and hold up against double teams, yet agile enough to provide a little penetration. He was a late round pick, but with any luck could develop into a real player with a little time.”
Bohanna was inconsistent through two seasons with the Cowboys, and lost his spot last year when the team acquired veteran Johnathan Hankins before the trade deadline. Bohanna came back with a strong training camp this summer, but ended up a roster casualty after the Cowboys drafted Mazi Smith with their first-round pick.
‘The Cowboys don’t traditionally like to keep more than two 1-techs on their roster,” Hanson wrote. “1-techs typically don’t offer much in the way pass-rush and Dallas prefers to load up on their more well-rounded and versatile brethren along the defensive line.”
Lions Filling Other Holes
While Bohnana could help provide some depth at defensive line, the Lions are also relying on a fill-in to help on the other side of the ball. The team also elevated undrafted rookie offensive tackle Connor Galvin from the practice squad to help account for another injury.
“Galvin adds a depth piece in place of staring guard Jonah Jackson, who has been ruled out with wrist and ankle injuries,” noted Justin Rogers of the Detroit News. “Game day roster rules allow teams to carry an extra roster spot if that player is an eighth offensive lineman. With Jackson out, the Lions had just seven eligible linemen for Sunday’s game prior to Galvin’s elevation.”
The Lions have been hit hard by injuries to their offensive line, which includes losing guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai to a recurrence of the back injury that wiped out his 2022 season. The veteran lineman was placed on injured reserve, which Jeff Risdon of USA Today’s Lions Wire speculated could be the end of his time with the Lions.
“The injury almost certainly closes the door on Vaitai’s playing career in Detroit,” Risdon wrote. “He’s a pending free agent, thanks to a reworked contract that leaves his 2024 season as a void year. Players over 30 with chronic back issues typically don’t find much of a market, not even with a team that genuinely appreciates all that Vaitai offers off the field.”