The franchise put its sixth-round pick, long-snapper Jimmy Landes, on injured reserve with a shoulder injury Monday, meaning the longest-tenured Lions player will be around for season No. 13 with the team.
Muhlbach was in competition with Landes for a spot on the roster and the franchise was going to keep only one of them on the active 53-man list. In putting Landes on injured reserve, it kicks the decision on him as a snapper down the road for at least one season.
Landes took every long snap during the Lions’ loss to Baltimore on Saturday and struggled, sending at least two snaps low. Meanwhile, Muhlbach has been consistent throughout training camp just as he has been his entire career.
Landes heading to injured reserve was one of three somewhat surprising moves by the Lions as they close in on the 75-man roster deadline Tuesday. Detroit made a bunch of cuts Monday, starting with offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz.
The two moves that were more attention-grabbing were the release of tight end Matthew Mulligan and the waiving of rookie wide receiver Quinshad Davis. Davis had a strong camp and seemed to be, at worst, a practice squad candidate. He has the size-speed-hands component that can make him a viable NFL receiver -- and it’s still possible he returns to the practice squad.
Mulligan’s release was surprising because the Lions still don’t have Brandon Pettigrew back from his torn ACL. Mulligan had been the team’s main blocking tight end throughout training camp and the only one on the roster who had good blocking skills other than Pettigrew.
With Mulligan released, the Lions have Eric Ebron, Cole Wick, Orson Charles, Adam Fuehne, Andrew Quarless and Pettigrew as tight ends. Besides Pettigrew’s situation, Ebron is still coming back from an ankle injury and Quarless is suspended for the first two weeks of the season.
The Lions are at 78 players right now as they continue to trim the roster and still have to make a decision on linebacker Jon Bostic, who is recovering from foot surgery.