Detroit Lions fans won't see rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams or rookie defensive lineman Josh Paschal on the field until October at the earliest.
The team had to get from 85 players on the roster to 80 by today's 4 p.m. deadline, and got there by moving some players from Active/NFI and Active/PUP to the reserve status for both lists, and by releasing veteran linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton.
Both Williams and Paschal haven't taken part in training camp or the preseason as they've been rehabbing injuries.
Williams tore his ACL in the college National Championship Game in January while he was playing for Alabama. He's been on NFI (non-football injury) because the injury happened while he was in college.
View photos from Detroit Lions practice on Monday, August 22, 2022.
Paschal has been on PUP (physically unable to perform) after undergoing surgery this summer for a sports hernia.
Transitioning from active to a reserve status means both players have to sit out at least the first four games of the regular season – Philadelphia (Sept. 11), Washington (Sept. 18), Minnesota (Sept. 25) and Seattle (Oct. 2). They are both eligible to return starting Oct. 9 with Detroit's road game against the New England Patriots. Detroit's bye week falls the following week (Week 6).
The following veterans are also going from Active/PUP to Reserve/PUP: Defensive lineman Romeo Okwara (Achilles) and fullback Jason Cabinda (ankle). They will also miss the first four games of the season.
Like Williams and Paschal, Okwara and Cabinda haven't taken part in training camp or the preseason as they've been rehabbing injuries.
Before the NFL adjusted the active and reserve rules for PUP and NFI this offseason, teams could place players on reserve only during the final cutdown phase – reducing the roster to 53 players after the end of the preseason. But starting this year, teams are eligible to place players on reserve during the 85 to 80-player roster reduction phase.
It's a significant rule change because it allows the team to essentially roster four extra active players for Sunday's preseason finale in Pittsburgh. In previous seasons, by carrying Williams, Paschal, Okwara and Cabinda to final cuts, the Lions would have fewer players available.