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‘Hard Knocks’ favorite Kalil Pimpleton cut from Lions

‘Hard Knocks’ favorite Kalil Pimpleton cut from Lions
Undrafted rookie Kalil Pimpleton was left off the Lions’ 53-man roster following the roster cut period. (Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports)

DETROIT (BVM) – Rookie wide receiver Kalil Pimpleton has taken over the spotlight of HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” as the series follows along the Detroit Lions during the team’s training camp and preseason periods. 

Pimpleton, who became a fan favorite for his juggling ability and charisma on the show, found himself on the outside looking in after the team’s final preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The undrafted rookie wasn’t able to quite find the consistency necessary throughout the past month with two costly drops during the final two games.

Kalil Pimpleton Lions
Lions wide receiver Kalil Pimpleton (83) catches a pass before being tackled by Atlanta Falcons defensive back Dee Alford (37) in the fourth quarter at Ford Field. (Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports)

The former Central Michigan wide receiver, and Muskegon, Michigan native, was hoping to land on with his hometown team after becoming an All-MAC first-team player during his time with the Chippewas. During his three years with the program, Pimpleton racked up 170 catches for 2,131 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns, helping Central Michigan to a 9-3 record and Sun Bowl victory in 2021. The 5-foot-9 wideout’s breakaway speed grabbed the attention of NFL teams following the draft as Pimpleton decided to sign on with the Lions.

Pimpleton’s “Hard Knocks” experience highlighted the wide receiver’s talent of juggling, which the former CMU star showcased during the team’s rookie punishment period. As part of what’s become the standard “hazing” procedure for rookies over the years, Pimpleton shared his $15,000 signing bonus to his fellow teammates but shied away from singing like many of the Lions’ rookies. He even visited a juggling coach later on to pick up some extra tips during the team’s off day.

In his three preseason games this year, Pimpleton racked up nine catches for 69 yards on 16 targets. With DJ Chark, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Josh Reynolds at the top of the depth chart, and first-round pick Jameson Williams waiting to return in the wings, Pimpleton seemed to be facing an uphill battle. In his three games with the team, Pimpleton returned the ball just once as a kick returner, never finding his footing as a special teams contributor.

Pimpleton is a practice squad candidate and could be an option to land back on the Lions before the season.