Lions bringing back DE Johnson
They also add WR Billingsley; waive Abbrederis, Smith
The Lions made a pair of roster moves Tuesday, re-signing wide receiver Jace Billingsley and defensive end George Johnson. To clear room, the team waived defensive end Jacquies Smith and wide receiver Jared Abbrederis.
Billingsley started the year on the practice squad and was added to the active roster for the first two games after the team’s bye, playing nine snaps, mostly on special teams.
He was released last Saturday to make way for the additions of offensive tackles Corey Robinson and Taylor Decker back to the active lineup.
Johnson, who had six sacks with the Lions in 2014, averaged 20 snaps during a four-game stretch with the team earlier this season. Smith, who came in after Johnson, took 39 reps with the defense in Sunday’s win over the Browns.
Abbrederis had been with the Lions all season after beating out Billingsley in a hotly contested competition for the team’s final receiving job. the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.
The award, now in its fourth year, honors the founding owner of the Steelers and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
One player from each team is nominated by current NFL players. A panel of former players selects eight finalists, four from each conference.
That panel includes Hall of Famer Curtis Martin, Warrick Dunn, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler.
Those eight finalists will be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot when players vote on Dec. 15. As for the Pro Bowl, a team can’t vote for its own player.
The award will be presented on Feb. 3, the night before the Super Bowl, at NFL Honors, when The Associated Press hands out its individual league awards.
Panthers rookie Curtis Samuel will undergo an MRI after injuring his left ankle in Carolina’s 45-21 win over the Dolphins on Monday night.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said trainers were “not very optimistic” after Samuel hobbled off the field in the third quarter and did not return. Samuel replaced traded Kelvin Benjamin in the starting lineup two weeks ago.
... The Seahawks signed cornerback Maxwell to help make up for the loss of Richard Sherman to a season-end- ing Achilles tendon injury. Seattle placed Sherman on injured reserve.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones defended the NFL’s” Thursday Night Football” series during his 105.3 The Fan radio show.
The Cowboys are set to play consecutive Thursday games this month — against the Chargers on Thanksgiving and the following Thursday night, Nov. 30, against Washington.
“Not one shred of statistics show that to be a disadvantage, inordinately challenging physi- cally for the players,” Jones said.
... Panthers offensive lineman Matt Kalil is facing criminal charges of selling alcohol to a minor at his Minnesota pizza restaurant, even though he wasn’t present when the transaction occurred.
A charging document says a 17-year-old server at Kalil’s Pieology Pizza in a Twin Cities suburb sold a beer to a 19-year-old woman Oct. 26.
Kalil, a former Vikings lineman, owns Pieology Pizza franchising rights in Minnesota.
Wide receiver Jace Billingsley is back with the Lions after getting cut last week to accommodate the return of tackle Taylor Decker.