Most significant move: Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell had been saying for the past couple of weeks he had a logjam at wide receiver after Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate. He wanted -- and waited -- for someone to separate themselves.
It wasn't clear whether TJ Jones' performance in the final preseason game against Buffalo, which included a 64-yard touchdown reception, was going to be enough to be that separation but on Saturday he received his answer. That, combined with his returns and possibly his youth, was enough to make the roster.
The 2014 sixth-round pick beat out the injured Greg Salas and former Lions returner Jeremy Ross for a spot on the 53-man roster. The bigger surprise there is that Ross ended up without a roster spot. He had handled returns throughout the majority of the preseason and was in contention for a receiver spot as well. Even entering Thursday's preseason finale, it looked like Ross might have been in position for the final receiver spot, especially considering he had special teams value on coverage units as well as returns.
It isn't clear how much of a role Jones' game Thursday had in keeping him over Ross, but Ross being cut is the most surprising name on this list. He had 24 catches for 314 yards and a touchdown last season and averaged 8.88 yards per punt return. He also leaves the Lions tying a franchise record with a punt and kick return for a touchdown in the same game, something he did against Philadelphia in 2013.
Fauria should find another home: Of all the Lions players cut Saturday, the most likely to resurface on another roster -- and contribute -- soon would be tight end Joseph Fauria. The 6-foot-7 tight end has the size and hands to be a red-zone target for many teams in the league and, depending on that team's tight end situation, a full-field tight end as well. As long as he's healthy, something he showed as a rookie in 2013 but struggled with in 2014, he can be a contributor.
Up until Monday, it appeared Fauria would have a roster spot -- and a role -- pretty well locked up behind Eric Ebron and Brandon Pettigrew. But Fauria's job ended up in jeopardy when the team traded with Tampa Bay for Tim Wright. When that happened, then when Lions coach Jim Caldwell indicated he wasn't even sure Wright would play in the preseason finale against Buffalo, that led to potentially bad things for Fauria with the Lions. Wright ended up seeing snaps against the Bills, but that the Lions were even considering sitting him after trading for him meant they had a plan for him. What that plan is remains to be seen during the regular season, but that move was a clear sign Fauria's time in Detroit was likely running short.
Webster out after a year: The Lions took a chance on developmental defensive end Larry Webster during the fourth round of the 2014 draft. Webster made the 53-man roster last season but didn't play. Then, during training camp, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said he wasn't sure whether Webster would be ready enough to contribute this season. Combine that with standout performances from tackle Jermelle Cudjo and end Phillip Hunt during the preseason and it left Detroit with no room for Webster on the 53-man roster. The Lions also cut Cudjo on Saturday. Webster could end up rejoining the Lions on the practice squad if he clears waivers, but it is clear his development isn't going quite as well as the Lions have hoped.
Lions moves: QB Kellen Moore, RB George Winn, FB Emil Igwenagu, WR Jeremy Ross, WR Greg Salas (placed on injured reserve), TE Joseph Fauria, TE Casey Pierce, OL Joe Madsen, OL Al Bond, OL Torrian Wilson, OL Braxston Cave, OL Xavier Proctor, DE Larry Webster, DE Corey Wootton (placed on injured reserve), DT Jerel Worthy, DT Kerry Hyder, DT Jermelle Cudjo, LB Julian Stanford, CB Crezdon Butler, S Brian Suite, S Isaiah Johnson, S Nate Ness.