Lions add rugby player Carlin Isles to practice squad

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Now here’s a transaction that catches the eye.

The Lions have signed USA Rugby player Carlin Isles to their practice squad, Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com reported on Thursday.

According to his USA Rugby bio, the 24-year-old Isles was a world-class sprinter and a former returner / running back at Ashland University. He had tried out for the Lions earlier in the week.

By adding Isles to the practice squad now, the Lions could conceivably sign him to the offseason roster once the 2013 regular season ends.

Isles replaces tight end Matt Veldman, promoted to the roster on Thursday, on the practice squad, Twentyman reported.

The Lions’ ranks at tight end have dwindled in recent days, with Brandon Pettigrew (ankle) and Dorin Dickerson (concussion) landing on injured reserve.

Veldman, 25, is a second-year pro from North Dakota State.