The Detroit Lions are bringing in reinforcement for their secondary, signing veteran cornerback Kindle Vildor to their active roster after a stint on the practice squad.
As Justin Rogers of the Detroit News reported, the Lions made a series of moves on December 5 including placing defensive tackle Alim McNeill on injured reserve and adding defensive tackle Tyson Alualo and offensive lineman Matt Farniok to their practice squad.
Rogers noted that the Lions were used to seeing Vildor lining up against them with an NFC North rival.
“A fifth-round pick out of Georgia Southern in 2020, [Vildor has] made 22 starts as a professional, all with the Chicago Bears, primarily playing as an outside corner,” Rogers wrote. “He spent part of last season with the Tennessee Titans and was most recently on Philadelphia’s practice squad.”
Lions’ Secondary Hit Hard by Injuries
Vildor will have the chance to add some veteran depth to a secondary that has seen a number of key injuries, including two of the biggest offseason additions. Safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson was lost to a season-ending torn pecora muscle and cornerback Emmanuel Moseley tore his ACL in his first game back since tearing the ACL in his opposite knee last season.
Campbell said after Moseley’s injury that he was not too worried about the state of the secondary thanks in part to strong play from Jerry Jacobs and versatility from Will Harris, who can play both in the slot and outside.
“It’s a pretty smart group back there,” Campbell said. “They’ve learned how to work with each other. There again having Cam Sutton has helped tremendously. He’s a guy we have a lot of faith and a lot of trust in and we can play multiple schemes with him. He’s been kind of our steady guy over there.”
Lions Bring in Help for Defensive Line
While Vildor’s signing will help the secondary, some of the other moves the Lions made this week are aimed at helping the defensive line. Alualu adds a veteran presence, and the team could find more help should they choose to add practice squad standout Quinton Bohanna to the active roster.
Mike Payton of AtoZ Sports predicted that the Lions could sign the third-year defensive tackle to the active roster after having used the maximum of three elevations from the practice squad.
“Three regular season games and two starts in a row would lead you to believe that some trust has grown there and that the Lions want to maybe keep seeing where this goes,” Payton wrote in a story published December 6. “Especially with McNeill out for at least the next four games. If they want Bohanna to play, they’re going to have to sign him to the active roster.”
There is still hope that McNeill could return before the conclusion of the season as well. His placement on injured reserve means the standout defensive tackle will miss at least the next four games, but Rogers reported that he could return for the season finale and playoffs.
“According to a team source, this isn’t immediately being labeled a season-ending injury for Alim McNeill,” Rogers wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “There’s still hope to get him back this (technically next) year.”