The Lions, like the rest of the NFL, are in the midst of juggling their roster to cut down to 53 players. It won't include a former first-round pick or a Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Detroit Lions favorite.
Jarrad Davis' second stint with the Lions is over. The team is releasing the linebacker, along with rookie wide receiver/kick returner Kalil Pimpleton, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday.
Davis arrived in Detroit via the 21st-overall selection in the 2017 draft and played in 14 games as a rookie, but never quite lived up to top-choice expectations. After four seasons with the Lions, he moved to New York, where he lasted just one year with the Jets before returning to Detroit this offseason.
The reunion made sense. Still a team attempting to rise from the lower third of the NFL, Detroit could use some experienced depth, and Davis was familiar with the franchise even if he hadn't played for coach Dan Campbell. Instead, Davis failed to latch on, playing deep into Detroit's Week 2 preseason win over Indianapolis as part of a defense dotted with hopefuls, not guaranteed members of the final roster.
As it turns out, Davis' spot wasn't guaranteed, either. His release is a bit of a surprise due to his standing as a former first-round selection, but those who have kept an eye on him shouldn't be stunned. At 27 years old, Davis is free to find employment elsewhere.
The same is true for undrafted free agent and Hard Knocks focal point Pimpleton. The former Central Michigan receiver attracted attention from NFL Films' cameras during the preseason thanks to his juggling ability and his slightly oversized pads, but struggled to consistently produce. Though he caught three of five targets for 23 yards in the Week 2 win over Indianapolis, Pimpleton failed to haul in a well-placed pass from David Blough that would have produced a first-half touchdown in the game. A week later, he caught another three passes on five targets for 31 yards.
The Lions are also waiving wide receiver Tom Kennedy, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported.
Detroit has multiple pass-catching options -- 15 different players saw targets in Week 3 -- and that's without mentioning the franchise's newest prized toy, Alabama receiver Jameson Williams. Ultimately, it's a numbers game, and no matter how well Pimpleton proved he could juggle, the Lions' attempt left him without a job.
There are returner jobs available elsewhere in the NFL, and Pimpleton could find his way into one. Hopefully his equipment fits him better than it did in Detroit.