By: Will Burchfield
It was a season that began with promise for Haloti Ngata, and one that will end far too soon.
The Lions announced on Wednesday that they have placed Ngata on the reserve-injured list after he left Sunday’s game versus the Panthers with an elbow injury. According to the team, his official injury designation is a bicep.
Either way, Ngata is likely done for the year.
Per a new rule instituted in the offseason, teams can now recall two players from IR over the course of the season once the player in question spends eight weeks on the inactive list. At the very least, that rules Ngata out until Week 14 versus the Buccaneers.
Ngata, 33, was part of the Lions’ rejuvenated defensive line. He had seven tackles, two sacks and a pass breakup in five games.
It’s unclear exactly how he injured his elbow on Sunday.
Along with placing Ngata on IR, the Lions waived linebacker Thurman Armbrister. They also released defensive end Armonty Bryant on Tuesday.
In a pair of corresponding moves, they signed former first-round defensive end Datone Jones and defensive tackle Caruan Reid. Reid played for the Lions in 2014 and 2015.
Ngata, who carries a $7.7 million cap hit, is set to become a free agent at the end of the season. He weighed retirement last year, and may well have played his final game in the NFL.
With Ngata out, the Lions are down to four defensive tackles: Reid, A’Shawn Robinson, Akeem Spence and Jeremiah Ledbetter.