Detroit Lions cut OT Tyrell Crosby, will scout waiver wire for help on offensive line

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Tyrell Crosby went from the trading block to the chopping block in a matter of months.

The Detroit Lions waived-injured Crosby on Monday in a stunning move that comes months after they made their presumptive swing offensive tackle available via trade.

Crosby started 11 games at right tackle for the Lions last season and was projected to be the team's sixth lineman this fall. He missed extensive time in training camp with a Grade 1 hamstring injury and struggled in his only action of the preseason last week, allowing a sack on the game's opening series.

Backup quarterback Tim Boyle suffered a broken thumb on the play.

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Texans defensive end J.J. Watt fights for position against Lions offensive tackle Tyrell Crosby during the third quarter at Ford Field on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020.
Texans defensive end J.J. Watt fights for position against Lions offensive tackle Tyrell Crosby during the third quarter at Ford Field on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020.

The Lions made Crosby available via trade this spring after taking Penei Sewell with the No. 7 overall pick in April's draft. Sewell played exclusively right tackle with the first-team offense this summer and will start at the position when the Lions open the regular season Sept. 12 against the San Francisco 49ers.

Crosby sat out Organized Team Activities in hopes of being traded, then downplayed his desire for a change of scenery upon his return.

He started at left tackle in last week's preseason loss to the Indianapolis Colts, and also saw time at right tackle and both guard spots this summer.

Asked to explain Crosby's release Monday, Lions coach Dan Campbell said simply, "There again it just, we didn’t feel like he was one of the best guys."

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The Lions have a promising offensive front with Taylor Decker, Jonah Jackson, Frank Ragnow and Halapoulivaati Vaitai returning as starters and Sewell a blue-chip prospect at right tackle, but very little depth beyond their top five.

Undrafted rookie guard Tommy Kraemer made a strong impression this summer and is in position to make the team as a backup, and second-year guard Logan Stenberg steadily improved throughout camp before suffering what Campbell termed a minor knee injury against the Colts.

Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller rushes against Lions offensive tackle Tyrell Crosby in the fourth quarter of the Lions' 27-17 loss on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Denver.
Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller rushes against Lions offensive tackle Tyrell Crosby in the fourth quarter of the Lions' 27-17 loss on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Denver.

The Lions also waived guard Evan Heim and waived-injured tackle Dan Skipper on Monday, leaving Matt Nelson and Darrin Paulo as their only backup tackles, though Vaitai also has experience at the position.

Campbell indicated there is a high probability the Lions add more offensive line depth in the coming days off the waiver wire or via trade.

"Certainly we’re looking to help our depth a little bit and we may or may not have it here, if I’m being honest with you," he said. "I think what needs to be remembered here is just between today and then tomorrow, some of these moves we make does not mean that these are the guys that this is who we’re riding with all the way through the season. There’s going to be some guys that are going to be on our team that aren’t even in the building yet. That’s probably going to happen. There’s a good chance that can happen.

"So, look, (general manger) Brad (Holes) and his crew man, they’re scouring the transactions and looking for everything that could or couldn’t be, and anyway that we can upgrade our roster that we think’s going to help us now and long term, we’re looking for it. So this thing’s in flux, so just because some of these are compared to what’s on our roster, I would say compared to the other 31 teams and what’s out there, that’s how we’re looking at it."

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions cut OT Tyrell Crosby: Here's why they did it