Colin Kaepernick passed over by injury-plagued Detroit Lions

Cortney Moore
Fox Business

Colin Kaepernick will not be joining the Detroit Lions' lineup.

The team signed 25-year-old quarterback Kyle Sloter from the Arizona Cardinals' practice squad on Saturday while 26-year-old Jeff Driskel was placed on injured reserve, according to a report from the Detroit Free Press.

Twenty-six-year old Joe Callahan was also signed onto the Lions practice squad.

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Both Sloter and Callahan join the Lions' 53-man roster for the calendar year while the Michigan team has been actively searching for backup for its 10-year veteran Matthew Stafford – who has missed fourth straight game due to a fractured back.

Kaepernick made news in November when he made his intention to return to the National Football League public. The 32-year-old began working out in front of evaluators in Atlanta, which included representatives from eight teams, according to Kaepernick's agent Jeff Nalley in an ESPN report.

The Detroit Lions were one of the teams in attendance, alongside the Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets, Washington Redskins, San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans.

Football insiders and fans remained hopeful that Kaepernick would find a home with the Lions, especially with former Detroit Lions quarterback Cliff Avril vocally supporting the pick, according to Express Sport.

"I have been around the NFL — as an agent, team executive and analyst — for close to 30 years and have never seen the league set up an individual player workout. Teams and agents set up workouts; the NFL does not set up workouts. This was unprecedented," sports business analyst Andrew Brandt wrote in Sports Illustrated regarding Kaepernick's workout opportunity.

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However, the team chose to stay away from the controversial quarterback. Kaepernick has not played on the field since becoming a political and social figurehead in 2016 over his choice to kneel during the American national anthem and opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers the following year.

Instead, the injury-plagued Lions are putting their faith in Sloter, Callahan and even undrafted rookie David Blough – who made his career debut on Thanksgiving Day and threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns.

The Detroit Lions last won an NFL championship in 1957, before the Super Bowl era began in 1966, which is the second-longest championship drought behind the Arizona Cardinals. At the time of this article, the Lions are one of the four teams that have never reached the Super Bowl.

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So far, Kaepernick hasn't been called back by any of the teams that were present during his workout, nor has he heard from the 25 other NFL teams that received a tape of his performance, according to a report in the New York Post.

"I've been ready for three years, I’ve been denied for three years," Kaepernick said during the workout last month. "We all know why I came out here – showed it today in front of everybody. We have nothing to hide. So we're waiting for the 32 owners, 32 teams, Roger Goodell, all of them to stop running. Stop running from the truth. Stop running from the people."

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Kaepernick's attorney Mark Geragos said two teams had shown interest in the quarterback during an appearance on The Adam Carolla podcast, but he did not offer any names. Geragos did hint, however, that one of the teams "is legitimately in need of a quarterback" and has an owner that doesn’t care about Kaepernick's reputation.

The New York Post suggested that the referred team could be the Carolina Panthers, which signed fellow kneeling safety Eric Reid on a three-year $22 million contract in February.

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During the six seasons Kaepernick spent with the 49ers, he played 69 regular-season games. His stats include passing for 12,271 yards, 72 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. He helped the team reach Super Bowl XLVII.

Unconfirmed reports have stated that Kaepernick’s team is planning another open workout for March when NFL meetings occur.

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