After putting on a great show during preseason and paying his dues on the Detroit Lions 10-man practice squad. The Lions made the decision to promote running back George Winn, a Detroit native and U-D Jesuit product, to the 53-man roster, the team announced on Tuesday
“My agent actually text me (on Tuesday) and told me to come up here and sign and I was like I will be up there right away.” Winn said with big smile. “It’s blessing to be here and I’m hoping to make the most of it. To celebrate me and my family actually went out to dinner last night at Eddie Merlot’s out in Birmingham, Michigan.”
This move to add Winn to the main roster comes after the team’s running back depth took a hit with recent injuries to Joique Bell (head), Theo Riddick (hamstring) and Montell Owens (hamstring). To make room for Winn, the Lions did have to place Owens on Injured Reserved for the second year in a row, ending his season and making him the 5th Lions player to go IR this season.
“It’s one of those things that happens in terms of numbers and injuries at other positions, so therefore you have to find a way to get guys up or add new guys to your squad.” head coach Jim Caldwell said on Wednesday before practice.
For Owens this is just another hard blow, he missed 15 games last year with a knee injury and now his current hamstring injury has kept him out of the majority of the last two games.
Nevertheless, the Lions couldn’t be happier about having the ability to promote someone like Winn. Originally brought in to be a camp body during the off-season, Winn ended up surprising a lot of people, as he impressed coaches with his hard-nosed running style and versatility on special teams. Although his great play didn’t earn him a spot on the initial 53-man roster, it did earn him an opportunity to be a part of the 10-man practice squad. Now, after remaining patient and continuing working hard, he now has an opportunity to suit up and play for his hometown team this Sunday.
If you look back at Winn’s preseason stats you will see that Winn is pure play-maker. During preseason play, he gathered 161 all-purpose yards, not to mention two rushing touchdown. He clearly showed that if you put him in the back-field at running back, he has the power, vision and burst to make plays. Plus we also know that if you put him on special teams, he has that same great ability to make plays and be an accurate tackler, which is plus considering Winn can help to fill the void of Owens who was a key component of the Lions’ special teams unit.
“I do (see an opportunity for Winn to play this Sunday). Caldwell said. “I think he’s certainly a guy that is up for the task. He worked extremely hard during preseason and was able to come in do some good things and we think he has progressed since then, I do believe that if he called up (to play), he could help us.”
One of the areas, that Winn has progressed in, is his ability to take care of the ball. As I mentioned before, the only knock against Winn in his entire preseason play were his two fumbles. However, Winn says thanks to the Lions great defense, his ball security has improved.
“Being on the practice squad has really helped me to develop (better ball security).” Winn replied. “The defense actually probably swings at the ball more than I have experience in my life, in terms of stripping the ball, so I have been working on my job security and it has been helpful.”
“(Being here since training camp) also makes the transition to game action that much easier.” Winn said. “Knowing the plays, be comfortable with the players, the offense and even playing Buffalo earlier this year, makes it all more comfortable.”
One thing’s for sure, Winn will certainly be helpful to the Lions this Sunday against the Buffalo Bills and for many more Sundays to come. As for Winn, he couldn’t be happier to be playing for his hometown team, the Detroit Lions.
This is my first time being on 53-man roster….It’s dream come true and a true blessing. Winn said with another big smile. “It makes the whole journey worth it. Jumping from team to team to being right here (in Detroit), makes it all worth it.”
The Lions also signed running back William Powell to its practice squad. Powell last played in the NFL in 2012 with Arizona. He played in 13 games with 60 rushes for 217 yards and caught 19 passes for another 132 yards.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Editor of Radio One Detroit
For more of L-Beasley’s (Lauren Beasley) sports news and in-depth sports content, click here.
Detroit Native and Lions RB George Winn Calls Promotion To 53-Man Roster A ‘Blessing’ was originally published on wchbnewsdetroit.com