Examining the Detroit Lions' roster. There have been some changes to last week's projection.
Detroit is still sticking with two quarterbacks for now in the latest projection. Both Stafford and Orlovsky have taken the majority of snaps during practices and there are too many other spots that have intense competitions for Detroit to keep three at this point. James Franklin looked like he could be a practice-squad candidate, but he has yet to see any real action other than split-field work.
RUNNING BACKS (6)
Bush, Bell and Riddick are likely locks. Owens has been used more and more and depending how Detroit views him at the end, he could push Leshoure for both playing time and maybe his roster spot. Collins hasn't been used a ton yet, but the Lions appear committed to keeping a fullback for the offense. Chad Abram is a good practice-squad candidate here.
WIDE RECEIVER (6)
There is still a ton of time to go here and other than Johnson, Tate and Ross as a return man, no position is settled. Ogletree has had an impressive camp thus far and continues to push for a role, potentially as the No. 3 receiver. He's in a tough battle with Durham and Corey Fuller for roster spots, however. This projection has Ogletree and Durham on with Fuller and Ryan Broyles off -- but that could easily change in a week. Durham over Fuller was the toughest call to make on offense. Jones remains here for now even though he is on the active PUP list. Removed Broyles because he just hasn't been getting the work with the top two groups all that much and it feels at this point he is behind Ogletree, Durham and Fuller. Possibly Patrick Edwards as well.
TIGHT END (3)
All three will make the roster. Nothing is changing here.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)
The starting line of Reiff, Sims, Raiola, Warford and the winner of Waddle and Hilliard is set. Swanson will make the team as the likely center of the future with guard flexibility. So the competition here feels like it is for two slots. Lucas could make the team as the fourth tackle and Austin has the inside track on an interior line spot. Both will be pushed by Garrett Reynolds, who was a starter for a chunk of the season in Atlanta in 2013 and can play both guard and tackle. Darren Keyton somewhat surprisingly got some work with the first unit during Saturday's scrimmage at center, but that was likely more due to the team wanting to make sure Swanson received more snaps at center with the second group than truly backing up Raiola.
DEFENSIVE LINE (9)
This could change drastically if it is determined Ansah is going to be out for a while -- and neither Ansah nor Jim Caldwell has given much clarity there. The position most in question is Tapp's, as the rest of the defensive linemen seem to have found a home and a role fairly quickly. The man pushing Tapp the hardest for the roster spot is George Johnson, who has received snaps with the first unit in Ansah's absence. I went with Tapp over Johnson for the moment because Tapp could theoretically play linebacker in an emergency situation as well and might be a better special-teams performer.
Nothing has really changed here, other than these five players looking fairly certain to be on the roster in September. Palmer and Van Noy are continuing to compete at the SAM spot and Whitehead is receiving some run with the first group. Cory Greenwood or Travis Lewis could sneak on the roster as a sixth backer in special-teams situations -- but it would depend how other positions shake out.
After Slay, Mathis, Bentley and Lawson, this is becoming difficult to predict. Chris Greenwood is off the latest projection in favor of Green, who has put together a couple nice days of camp. Vaughn also has an inside position on a roster spot at this point. Mohammed Seisay is still a probably practice-squad candidate, but the back end of the corner position here is so questionable that he could play his way into an actual roster spot with special-teams work. But for now, he's a guy to watch when it comes to the Lions' practice group.
For now, these four end up sticking, although DeJon Gomes is going to make a hard run at this before cuts are made -- and whether he makes the team might depend on how the Lions view their cornerback, running back and receiver positions. Or defensive line flexibility. Gomes and Abdul-Quddus are essentially a coin-flip pick at this point after Quin, Ihedigbo and Carey. What could decide this is special-teams usage, so pay attention to that over the next few weeks.
Freese is still running with the first unit as a kicker, so he remains on the roster right now but Giorgio Tavecchio has appeared to have the better camp thus far. It would not be surprising at this point to see the Lions go with either kicker -- especially if Jim Caldwell was serious about having Sam Martin boot the really long field goals. Martin has had a terrific camp punting.