Hunter Bryant among 2 UDFAs heading to NFL debut under Darrell Bevell; From André Swift released
CHICAGO – The Detroit Lions could start the Darrell Bevell era by putting a few new faces on the pitch, including promising tight end Hunter Bryant.
The rookie was a talented wide receiver in Washington, but fell out of the draft mainly due to an unclear injury history. The Lions loved his skills and made him the club’s No.1 priority in the undrafted market. Bryant chose Detroit over a list of contenders because of his potential use in this attack, and the fit looked good during the early days of training camp.
Bryant suffered another injury in the first week of camp, however, this time his hamstrings, and then suffered a brain injury after returning to training. It delayed his NFL debut – but ultimately he’s healthy enough to face the Chicago Bears on Sunday. And with Detroit down from a few pass catchers to Kenny Golladay (hip) and Marvin Hall (cut), Bryant could see a big role behind TJ Hockenson.
“We really liked what we saw of him at training camp,” Bevell said this week. “He’s doing a good job, but he’s still in his first year, he’s still learning a lot. So give him the opportunity to get out on the pitch, see what he can do, see what we have and go from there.
Safety Bobby Price, another undrafted rookie, is also active for the Lions. It gives the team extra depth after Tracy Walker missed practice on Friday due to the birth of her first son, Tracy Walker IV.
Walker has found his way to Chicago, however, and is active for the game.
Running back D’Andre Swift is not active, which is hardly a surprise after being listed as questionable on Friday, then demoted to questionable on Saturday. He passed the concussion protocol, but illness forced him to skip training Thursday and Friday. This is the third game in a row Swift has missed since entering the starting lineup in a win over Washington.
The other inactive Lions: Golladay, cornerbck Jeff Okudah (shoulder), defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand (groin), defensive end Austin Bryant (thigh) and quarterback David Blough.
That means Detroit is deprived of one of its top two draft picks for a second straight week. Okudah hasn’t played since injuring his shoulder in Carolina last month.