The Detroit Lions released safety Ricardo Silva Wednesday and signed two players who tried out at their rookie camp in May: defensive tackle Xavier Proctor and safety Trevor Coston.
Coston had a tryout with the Chicago Bears last year after playing collegiately for the University of Maine. Unlike Silva, he has practice-squad eligibility remaining.
Coston, who last played for coach Jack Cosgrove’s team in 2011, had signed with the Chicago Bears last year and spent a considerable amount of time with the team during the preseason before being released.
In 2011, the 5-foot-10, 203-pound Coston earned All-Colonial Athletic Association first-team recognition as a punt returner (9.7-yard average) and was a second-team pick at defensive back. He ranked third on UMaine with 83 tackles and had nine pass break-ups.
Coston tied for the league lead with six interceptions in 2011 on his way to fourth-team All-America accolades.
Silva made six starts for the Lions last year, after spending most of 2011 on the practice squad, but his chances at a spot on the 53-man roster seemed bleak after the Lions signed veteran Chris Hope in June.
Silva had been working mostly with the third-team defense in the first week of training amp, behind Glover Quin, Louis Delmas, Don Carey, Amari Spievey, John Wendling and Hope.
Proctor went undrafted in April out of North Carolina Central. He had 10 sacks in four years for the Eagles.
Barnett signs with Redskins
Free agent linebacker Nick Barnett signed a one-year deal with the Washington Redskins.
Barnett fills a void created when Keenan Robinson was sidelined with a torn pectoral muscle. Robinson is expected to miss the entire 2013 season but hasn’t been placed on injured reserve.
Barnett has 139 career starters with the Packers and Bills. He spent the past two seasons in Buffalo.
The Redskins weren’t forced to make a roster move. Running back Tristan Davis told Shanahan “his heart wasn’t in football” and plans to retire.
Seahawks’ Harvin has surgery
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip on Thursday, and coach Pete Carroll said Harvin faces a long rehab.
Carroll said the reports the team received indicated it went “very well.” Harvin will spend the next few weeks in New York before returning to Seattle.
“There’s a long rehab process coming up,” said Carroll, who declined to provide a timetable for Harvin’s return but said the team’s is “optimistic” it will be during the 2013 season.
“That’s what we’re hoping,” said Carroll. “We’re hopeful that he’ll have a chance to get back.”
Willis breaks hand — again
For the third time in eight years, All-Pro inside linebacker Patrick Willis is dealing with a broken bone in his right hand.
Willis was injured Wednesday and CSNBayArea.com reported he might have a “slight fracture” in his right hand. He was scheduled for further tests Thursday.
In 2005 at Mississippi and with the 49ers in 2007, Willis played with his hand in a cast. In 2010, he had pins inserted into a broken bone in his right hand but the team allowed at the time only that he was “banged up.” The injury at Ole Miss and 2010 was a broken finger.
He’s been named to the Pro Bowl in each of his six NFL seasons.
Hairline fractures can heal as quickly as two weeks and most heal within 3-4 weeks.
Willis and inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman left Wednesday’s practice with injuries. Bowman injured his groin and didn’t practice Tuesday. He was able to practice until the end portion of the session Wednesday.
Panthers cut Hangartner
Carolina Panthers guard Geoff Hangartner went from the starting line to the unemployment line Thursday. The eight-year veteran had been a starter since 2006, including a two-year stint with the Buffalo Bills.
Hangartner, 32, started every game in which he played from 2009 to 2012 and was working with the first team at right guard. He also started eight games at center last season.
Edmund Kugbila is the most likely candidate to start at right guard. However, he’s been nursing a hamstring injury. The rookie fourth-round pick missed most of organized team activities with a knee injury.
Fox likes Lilja
Newly-signed offensive lineman Ryan Lilja was still going through paperwork Thursday before hitting the practice field with the Denver Broncos, but coach John Fox is pleased with the experience the longtime Indianapolis Colt brings to the offensive line.
“I think there is no substitute for experience. We’re pleased to have him in the building,” Fox said. “We’re going to continue to look at people that we think can help us, whether it’s depth or competing for starting jobs or competing for a spot on the team.”
Lilja, 32, played with Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning for six seasons in Indianapolis, primarily at guard, but he’ll compete for playing time at center in Denver. The Broncos don’t know when J.D. Walton will return from an ankle injury and lost Dan Koppen to a season-ending knee injury.