ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) -- The Detroit Lions have cut quarterback Jake Rudock, paving the way for veteran Matt Cassel to move forward as Matthew Stafford's backup.
The Lions announced Saturday that they have cut their roster down to 53 players, waiving Rudock, defensive end Alex Barrett, wide receivers Jace Billingsley, Dontez Ford and Chris Lacy, linebackers Freddie Bishop and Darnell Sankey, cornerbacks Mike Ford and Chris Jones, defensive tackle Jeremiah Ledbetter, safety Rolan Milligan, punter Ryan Santoso, tackle Dan Skipper and running back Dwayne Washington.
Detroit also released linebacker Jonathan Freeny, center Wesley Johnson, tight end Sean McGrath and cornerback DeShawn Shead -- and put running back Zach Zenner on injured reserve. Zenner hurt his back in Thursday night's preseason finale against Cleveland.
The Lions put wide receiver Andy Jones on the reserve/physically unable to perform list and waived defensive tackle Toby Johnson from injured reserve. Detroit also traded tackle Corey Robinson to the Carolina Panthers for a draft pick.
Rudock was drafted by the Lions in the sixth round out of Michigan in 2016, but he has attempted only five passes in three career NFL appearances. He played most of the first half against Cleveland on Thursday, and the Lions went into halftime trailing 25-0.
The 36-year-old Cassel has started at least one game in each of the past 10 seasons, most recently for the Tennessee Titans in 2017.
The backup quarterback spot hasn't been terribly crucial for Detroit recently. Stafford hasn't missed a start since the 2010 season.
Washington had 110 carries for the Lions over the past two seasons, but Detroit tried to bolster its running game this offseason by adding free agent LeGarrette Blount and drafting Kerryon Johnson in the second round.