Lions Part Ways With Veteran RB Days After Signing Him

Dan Campbell

Getty Head coach Dan Campbell and the Detroit Lions signed running back Devine Ozigbo after waiving wide receiver Avery Davis on August 9.

The Detroit Lions continue their roster shuffle at running back, parting ways with veteran Devine Ozigbo just a few days after signing him to the active roster.

The Lions had signed the 27-year-old ahead of their Monday night game against the Las Vegas Raiders, but released him on November 2. As’s John Maakaron reported, his release could signal that lead running back David Montgomery could be close to returning from a rib injury that has kept him out of the last two games.

Lions Making Moves at Running Back

Ozigbo had been on Detroit’s practice squad but was elevated to appear in two games before being signed to the active roster. He made three appearances total, taking three carries for five yards and making one catch for 8 yards in the team’s October 15 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

As noted, Ozigbo appeared in two snaps on offense and seven snaps on special teams in Monday’s win over the Raiders.

In releasing Ozigbo, the Lions signed linebacker Trevor Nowaske to the 53-man roster. The second-year linebacker was on Detroit’s practice squad last year, but Maakaron noted he had a strong showing in the preseason with seven tackles and a pass defense.

“I’ve still got a lot of work to do,” Nowaske said at the time, via “I know it’s an uphill battle from here, being undrafted. I’m happy I could go out there and contribute but there’s still a lot more than can be done.”

David Montgomery Could Be Nearing Return

Ozigbo’s release could be a sign of more stability in the backfield for the Lions, who have been without Montgomery since Week 6. The running back said the team was taking a careful approach to his return, trying not to rush him back before he would be ready.

“We just trying to take it one day at a time,” Montgomery told the Detroit Free Press last week. “We really don’t know right now, but right now we’re just trying to make sure I get back as healthy as I can. The bye week helps a lot, just have a little bit of time, but other than that, we get right.”

Ozigbo’s release could signal that Montgomery is ready to return after the by week.

The Lions have made other moves at running back, promoting former New York Jets running back Zonovan “Bam” Knight to the active roster in September. Lions head coach Dan Campbell said at the time that the team would be working in all the running backs.

“I still see it being by committee if D-Mo can’t go, but certainly Gibbs is going to get more opportunities,” Campbell said. “And there again, the more – he got a little bit more, and there are some plays he made and there’s a lot he left out. And some of that is part of being a rookie. He’ll get better from those with the more exposure he gets. And we need him to grow, and he will.”

Knight appeared in two games, taking three carries for 13 total yards and making one catch for 8 yards. He was placed on injured reserve on October 14.

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