Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  By DAVE DYE  |  Last updated 8/31/13
Four recent draft picks were among the final cuts Saturday as the Detroit Lions trimmed their roster from 75 to 53 going into the first week of the regular season. Heres the recap of what went down: Cornerback Chris Greenwood, a fifth-round pick last year out of Albion College, was one of the casualties. Greenwood hasnt gotten much practice time to develop because he was hampered by injuries. He was out last season following abdominal surgery and then missed much of training camp this year because of a hamstring injury. He finally played in the last two preseason games but got beat deep for a touchdown in the exhibition finale against Buffalo. Safety Amari Spievey, a third-round selection in 2010, was another of the 21 players who got released. Spievey started 15 games during the 2011 playoff season. He suffered a concussion last season, missed the final 10 games and never could work his way back into the Lions plans. Receiver Corey Fuller, a sixth-round pick this year out of Virginia Tech, and linebacker Brandon Hepburn, a seventh-rounder this year out of Florida A&M, also failed to make the 53-man roster. Undrafted rookie Steven Miller, a running back and return specialist from Appalachian State, was let go, at least for now. That move seems to indicate that six-year NFL veteran Micheal Spurlock will be the Lions return man, possibly on both kicks and punts. The emergence of versatile defensive back Rashean Mathis, who can play cornerback, safety or nickel, led to the release of Detroit native and eight-year NFL veteran Ron Bartell. Bartell opened camp as a starter at cornerback, but he missed some time because of a shoulder injury and recently got demoted. Mathis played the first 10 years of his career with Jacksonville, including being named to the Pro Bowl team in 2006. He was signed as a free agent by the Lions midway through training camp. Among the notable players who made the 53-man roster are undrafted rookie tight end Joseph Fauria, receivers Patrick Edwards and Kris Durham, third-string quarterback Kellen Moore, rookie running back Theo Riddick, offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle, offensive guardscenters Dylan Gandy and Leroy Harris, defensive tackle Justin Bannan, cornerback Jonte Green and linebacker Rocky McIntosh. Rookie tight end Michael Williams, a seventh-round pick out of Alabama, was put on the season-ending injury list because of a broken hand. Montell Owens, a running back and special-teams standout, is expected to be placed on the short-term injured list. Owens suffered a knee injury during the third preseason game. Other players released included receiver Matt Willis, offensive guards Jake Scott and Rodney Austin, safety Tyrell Johnson, linebackers Chris White and Jon Morgan, center Darren Keyton, safety Martavius Neloms, offensive tackle Kevin Haslam, defensive tackles Jimmy Saddler-McQueen, Ogemdi Nwagbuo, Andre Fluellen and Xavier Proctor, punter Blake Clingan and running back Shaun Chapas. NFL teams are allowed to add eight players to a practice squad. Logical candidates include Miller, Greenwood, Hepburn and Fuller, provided they clear waivers and arent picked up by another team. EXTRA POINTS Defensive end Ezekiel Ziggy Ansah, who didnt practice last week and missed the teams kickoff luncheon amid speculation that he suffered a concussion, tweeted Saturday that he planned to watch his college team, BYU, presumably on television. Bout to watch ma boys do work! CollegeFootball BYUfootball, Ansah tweeted shortly before the game. The Lions havent commented on Ansahs absence, but the club must release an official injury report beginning Wednesday. Punter Sam Martin, a fifth-round pick from Appalachian State, created a stir among Michigan fans when he took what some perceived to be a subtle shot at the Wolverines. Kickalicious (former teammate Havard Rugland) and myself will be attending the Michigan game today, Martin tweeted. Excited to see what I missed out on in '07. Appalachian State, a Division I-AA school, stunned the Wolverines by winning at the Big House in 2007. A short time later, Martin tried to do some damage control with another message. Easy guys, that wasnt supposed to be a low blow, he said. Legitimately excited.
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