DETROIT — The Detroit Lions have notified cornerback Alphonso Smith and punter Ryan Donahue they can expect to be released.
All NFL teams have to cut their roster to 53 players by 9 p.m. ET Friday.
Detroit seems to have decided that Ben Graham beat out Donahue for a spot and Smith wasn't good enough to help the team's desperate need for defensive backs.
Also expected to be cut are: receivers Maurice Stovall, Patrick Edwards, Lance Long, Nate Hughes, Wallace Miles, defensive backs Justin Miller, Reshard Langford, Ross Weaver, tight ends Austin Wells, Alex Gottlieb, offensive linemen Dan Gerberry, Rodney Austin, Pat Boyle, linebacker Carmen Messina, defensive linemen Andre Fluellen, Everette Brown, Ugo Chinasa, Edmon McClam and Tracy Robertson.
Graham was Detroit's punter for the final seven games of last season. He replaced Robert Malone, who filled in for one game for the injured Donahue. A native of Australia, Graham has also played for the New York Jets, New Orleans and Arizona.
Detroit acquired Smith from the Denver Broncos nearly two years ago for tight end Dan Gronkowski. Smith had three interceptions in 11 games last season, including one start, and has eight interceptions in his three-year career. Denver drafted Smith out of Wake Forest in the second round with the 37th pick in the 2009 draft.