A two-time Pro Bowler on special teams, Owens, 29, could be a core special teams player for the Lions, whose problems covering kicks early last season cost them dearly. He also gives them another back with game experience behind starter Reggie Bush. Mikel Leshoure, the top option behind Bush, has battled injuries during his pro career.
Owens (5-10, 225) produced when pressed into service on offense in 2012, rushing for 209 yards and a touchdown on 42 carries and catching eight passes for 113 yards and a score for Jacksonville. The Jaguars released Owens on May 16. He visited Buffalo four days later, but he has now landed with Detroit, which can use a player with his skill set.