Not only is Jason Fox already injured, but Riley Reiff was felled by a hamstring injury during Sunday's game against Cincinnati, though he returned to play after his replacement Corey Hilliard also went down with a knee injury.
Though each of those players are expected to be alright, with all of those variables in the mix, it stands to reason that the Lions would sign a replacement for depth along the line. Tuesday, that signing came when the team agreed with Barry Richardson, a veteran offensive lineman. In order to make room for Richardson, the Lions will have to make room on the roster. Tony Scheffler, who fought off a concussion in recent weeks, was the casualty of the move, getting released.
Richardson, who was drafted by the Chiefs in 2008, saw action in 10 games during the 2009 season. In 2010, he became the team's starting right tackle, but was quickly released before the 2011 year. After that, Richardson signed in St. Louis, where he started 16 games in 2012. After signing with the Tennessee Titans and quickly being released in June, Richardson has been looking for work.
Don't expect him to be an impact player who will routinely play and dominate, but instead, expect Richardson to fit in on a line which has found great success with players playing within roles in 2013. From that aspect, it was a good move to add someone with plenty of starting experience as a security blanket as the season's intensity gets tougher.
Scheffler, on the other hand, became expendable with the impressive emergence of rookie Joseph Fauria and the possession of another quality rookie Michael Williams, who's attempting to come back from injury. Scheffler may have also been the victim of his own play, as he showed a penchant for dropping passes much of 2013 when targeted. The Lions didn't want to pay Scheffler to stay on injured reserve and not contribute, so they simply released him.
A rash of weekend misfortune shows the value of capable backups and players who can play. The Lions have another lineman with experience in Richardson as a security blanket just in case more severe injuries begin to strike.
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