The Linebacker Position Has Become A Needed Position After Sunday’s Game.
The Detroit Lions currently have a bit of an injury bug, especially at the linebacker position. Detroit lost DeAndre Levy to a quad injury, forcing Antwione Williams to get the start. He went on to leave the game, forcing Thurston Armbrister out there who was cut by Jacksonville just a few weeks back. Kyle Van Noy was the final linebacker to get taken out and he was replaced by defensive end Brandon Copeland. Detroit is now down to two healthy linebackers in Tahir Whitehead and Thurston Armbrister, which is a horrible thought. Detroit will need to comb a few practice squads and free agents to try and see who could come in on short notice. Let’s take a look at who Detroit should sign at linebacker before things get ugly.
Former foe, now friend. AJ Hawk has been in the league since 2006, playing for Green Bay for nine years before leaving and playing for the Cincinnati Bengals last season. He was one of the best linebackers in the league with him and teammate Clay Matthews knocking people out. In his career, Hawk has 644 tackles, 20 sacks, 33 pass deflections, nine interceptions, five fumble recoveries and four forced fumbles. He had his worst year ever last season in Cincinnati, starting in only 11 games and getting only 16 tackles and one sack. While Hawk is getting on at 32 years old, he could come in as a useful veteran presence in a unit that badly needs some help.
Another veteran at 31 years old that could help Detroit is Danny Lansanah. He was on the Detroit Lions practice squad in 2009 and would be a good fit to bring back. He has only been in the league for four seasons, he was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2008 but didn’t come back until 2013 and started for the Bucs in 2014. He has 89 tackles, two and a half sacks, three interceptions and one forced fumble. Lansanah is a better coverage linebacker, which is something Detroit needs right now. He could help at the outside and contribute day one. He won’t be an all-star at the linebacker spot, but it sounds a lot better than having Brandon Copeland out there.
He isn’t a free agent I know, but it is a move that some were considering when we drafted him. Miles Killebrew is a safety for us and buried on the depth chart. He is big at 6’2″ and he can hit. He is known for delivering hard hits and making people feel pain. He doesn’t allow broken tackles either, which is huge in stopping the run. While his zone coverage could use some work, his man coverage is good enough to play the spot. Check out what I said about Killebrew in my safety article a few months back. Killebrew moving to linebacker wouldn’t be a bad option and can give Detroit a cheaper option that could end up helping their season.