Detroit, MI, United States (4E Sports) – In an unusual move, the Detroit Lions have signed Carlin Isles, dubbed “the fastest man in American rugby”, to their practice squad.
The Lions signed Isles, a member of the United States rugby sevens team, as a wide receiver on their practice squad after trying out with the team earlier this week.
During his tryout with the team, Isles ran the 40-yard dash in 4.22 seconds, the Detroit Free Press reported.
“You’re looking for athletes,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. “It hasn’t been unusual to see basketball players transition to the NFL, and it’s not just recently; that goes way back.”
“Even track guys like Bob Hayes and Renaldo Nehemiah — things like that. An athlete’s an athlete, and there are skills you can develop, and if you see something that you like, then you can work with him,” Schwartz added.
The practice squad spot opened up when Detroit sent tight end Dorin Dickerson to injured reserve and promoted practice squad tight end Matt Veldman to the 53-man roster.
Dickerson hid a concussion from the Lions after being hit in the second half of Sunday’s 23-20 overtime loss to the New York Giants. He was eventually diagnosed with a concussion in overtime.
Isles played football and ran track at Ashland University, a Division II school, before moving to rugby.
Dubbed by RugbyMag.com as “the fastest man in American rugby,” Isles became a YouTube sensation playing rugby because of his speed.