Report: Lions releasing veteran defensive tackle to get roster cuts started

2023 Detroit Lions Training Camp — Week Two

Detroit Lions defensive lineman Christian Covington practices on Monday, July 31, 2023 during the Detroit Lions training camp in Allen Park. (Jake May |


ALLEN PARK -- The Detroit Lions are releasing veteran defensive tackle Christian Covington to get their roster cuts started, per an NFL Network report.

Covington was impressive during the spring offseason program around these parts. But he fell back into the pack during training camp and the preseason. The 29-year-old went out with a bang, though, notching a sack in Friday night’s preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers. He was one of the most experienced players on the roster, with nine seasons under his belt. Covington has previously spent time with the Houston Texans, Los Angeles Chargers, Cincinnati Bengals and Dallas Cowboys since breaking into the NFL in 2015.

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This reported move leaves Alim McNeill, Isaiah Buggs, Brodric Martin, Levi Onwuzurike, Benito Jones, Cory Durden and Chris Smith in the mix on the interior defensive line. McNeill and Buggs likely led that group in snaps out of the gates, with Martin, the third-round rookie, exceeding his raw expectations to this point. And Onwuzurike enjoyed an impressive camp and preseason while, most importantly, staying healthy and active. Jones was a rotational player last year and could be on the bubble with the newfound depth in the trenches.

Covington was on the outside of the roster picture in both of MLive’s final projections posted this morning, so this wasn’t a surprise. But it represents the first in many more moves to come around these parts and through the NFL ahead of the 4 p.m. Tuesday 53-man roster deadline.


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