(ALLEN PARK) - The Detroit Lions today put running back James Stewart on the injured reserve list ending his season. Stewart suffered a dislocated shoulder in Detroit's 22-16 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Several experts second guessed new head coach Steve Mariucci for calling so many running plays for his starting running back when he didn't have an adequate replacement.
Detroit moved quickly to acquire Buffalo running back Olandis Gary in trade for a conditional draft pick to try to replace Stewart. The move led to several questions. What would happen when Stewart was eligible to return? What roster spot would be available for rookie Artose Pinner once he came off the NFI list? How would the Lions be able to manuever to use five running backs on the roster. The move today solves that problem and most likely ends the Detroit tenure of the classy Stewart who was never too busy to talk or help out in the community.
It is speculated that the roster spot was freed up so that Detroit could sign veteran corner Alex Molden to a contract. Molden worked out with the Lions and some sources claim that he signed a contract that could not be announced until a roster spot was freed up for him.
Reports also state that Detroit is interested in four-time Pro Bowl safety Lawyer
Milloy who was let go by the Patriots today in a cost cutting move. Detroit has only about
$3.1 million in salary cap room and the signing of Molden, if true, would likely eat up
even more of that figure.
Detroit would probably need to sign Milloy to a long term bonus laden contract and release another player in order to get him in under NFL salary cap and contract rules. [Update: Milloy reportedly agreed to terms with the Buffalo Bills. Milloy never visited Detroit despite previous published reports]