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Lions activate Ezekiel Ansah from PUP, begin making cuts

The Detroit Lions have a lot of moves to make in less than 24 hours, but the franchise started shifting the roster Friday -- and two of the biggest transactions were additions, rather than subtractions.

The Lions activated Pro Bowl defensive end Ezekiel Ansah and offensive tackle Corey Robinson from the physically unable to perform list, meaning they are now counted against the 90-man roster (the Lions are at less than 80 at this point) and won't be forced to sit out the first six weeks of the season.

Ansah is Detroit's best pass-rusher and one of the team's top overall players. Robinson is expected to be the No. 3 or No. 4 tackle, which he was last season.

Also, a source told ESPN that the Lions will keep Kasey Redfern as the punter because Sam Martin is expected to start the year on the non-football injury list. Martin (ankle) has not punted or been spotted at practice all preseason.

Detroit also cut a few players, but the bulk of the roster trimming likely will occur Saturday.

RB Matt Asiata (announced by Lions): The Lions signed him in the spring and gave him chances to be the team's big back. It never really transpired and he couldn't push past Zach Zenner or Dwayne Washington on the depth chart.

OL Connor Bozick (announced by Lions): He was re-signed late in the preseason and never had much of a chance to make an impact.

DE Giorgio Newberry (announced by Lions): Like Bozick, he was signed during camp. On a thin line, he couldn't move past any of Detroit's rookies.

WR Dez Stewart (announced by Lions): Part of a gaggle of unproven receivers, Stewart was consistently behind Jared Abbrederis, Jace Billingsley, Dontez Ford and Noel Thomas on the depth chart. He was waived/injured.

CB Tramain Jacobs (announced by Lions): Cut as waived/injured, Jacobs was behind a lot of more experienced players at Detroit's deepest position.

WR Michael Rector (not announced by Lions but confirmed by a source): Like Stewart, was often behind Thomas and Ford on the depth chart. Rector was an undrafted free agent with some promise out of Stanford.

S Alex Carter (first reported by Detroit Free Press, confirmed by ESPN): Carter, the team’s third-round pick in 2015 as a cornerback, missed his rookie campaign due to injury and then was waived last season and spent most of the year on the practice squad. He converted to safety this offseason and had been making progress, but at a deep position, the Lions just had no room to keep him.