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TWENTYMAN: What roster moves mean for team

The Detroit Lions trimmed their roster from 89 players to 78 on Monday ahead of Tuesday's 4 p.m. deadline to get down to 75.

Three more moves are on the horizon in the next 24 hours.

"Cuts are never easy," head coach Jim Caldwell said Monday.

"Today is one of those days that's not one of your favorite days, because you get a lot of guys that have a lot of hopes and dreams about playing in this league, and it's just been delayed for them."

So, what do these first round of cuts mean for the 78 players left on the roster?

Among Monday's roster trim was the announcement that rookie sixth-round pick Jimmy Landes is headed to injured reserve with a shoulder injury that will require season-ending surgery.

That means Don Muhlbach gets a 13th season in Detroit as the team's long snapper.

Among the 10 players released or waived were vested veterans guard Geoff Schwartz, tight end Matthew Mulligan and cornerback Crezdon Butler.

Schwartz was signed this offseason to add veteran depth along a young Lions front. His release seems to indicate that the team is content going young on the interior with Laken Tomlinson and Larry Warford starting, and rookies Graham Glasgow and Joe Dahl in reserve.

The team recently landed third-year guard Brandon Thomas is a trade with the 49ers that sent receiver Jeremy Kerley to San Francisco. Thomas, 25, has yet to play in a regular-season game.

Mulligan, a veteran blocking specialist at the position, was signed in the absence of Brandon Pettigrew, who is still on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list with a knee injury. It's unclear if Mulligan's release means Pettigrew is getting closer to returning, or if the team likes their other options at tight end more.

Kerley's trade to San Francisco, and the release of rookie receiver Quinshad Davis, thins out the competition at receiver for the last couple spots behind Marvin Jones, Golden Tate and Anquan Boldin.

TJ Jones' footing as the fourth receiver seems pretty solid at this point. When Golden Tate missed a couple practices with an undisclosed injury a couple weeks back, it was TJ Jones who filled in with the first-team offense. He's also getting a very close look as a return man for both kicks and punts.

Kerley's departure seems to improve the status of Andre Roberts for the fifth spot. Roberts is competing with undrafted rookies Jace Billingsley and Jay Lee for the final receiver spot(s), but Roberts' veteran status and special teams experience could ultimately give him the edge.

Kicker Devon Bell, guard Chase Farris, defensive end Deonte Gibson, defensive end Louis Palmer, defensive end Quanterus Smith and cornerback Rashaad Reynolds were among the other players waived by the Lions on Monday.

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