Former University of Maine All-American offensive tackle Jamil Demby is now a Detroit Lion.
Demby was a sixth-round draft choice of the Los Angeles Rams and appeared to have a roster spot locked up with them. But a week before the opener, the Rams signed defensive tackle and 2017 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, who had been a training camp holdout.
The Rams had originally waived safety and three-year pro Isaiah Johnson to make room for Donald on the roster but they decided to re-sign Johnson and cut Demby, who was then picked up by the Lions.
“It’s a bit surprising the Rams would opt to release Demby, who played well in the preseason and provided good depth at every offensive line position,” Cameron DaSilva wrote on USA Today’s Ramswire.
“Now they’re left with just seven players on the offensive line. They could have opted to not re-sign Johnson this week and use his roster spot on Donald, but it’s clear the coaches view him as more valuable than Demby,” DaSilva said.
The 6-foot-5, 335-pound Demby played both guard and tackle but is likely to be used at guard in the NFL. He had signed a four-year, $2,616,620 contract with the Rams in June and played in all four of their exhibition games. According to overthecap.com, Demby received $156,620 in guaranteed money from the Rams.
His contract terms with the Lions have not been disclosed.
The New York Jets beat the Lions 48-17 in their season opener Monday night. Later Monday night, the Rams beat the Raiders 33-13.
Demby joins former Black Bear teammate Trevor Bates in Detroit.
Bates, an All-Colonial Athletic Association defensive end at UMaine, is a linebacker in the NFL and was waived by the Lions before they signed him to their practice squad.
The Lions ranked 13th in the NFL in yards per game a year ago (337.8), but they were last among the 32 teams in rushing yards (76.3 per game). The Lions gained 339 yards against the Jets but mustered only 39 rushing yards.
Demby had been listed on the Rams’ depth chart as the No. 2 left guard behind nine-year man Rodger Saffold.
The Lions visit San Francisco Sunday at 4:05 p.m.
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