Alek Torgersen’s journey in the NFL will live on as the former Penn quarterback and 2017 graduate was signed by the Detroit Lions to their practice squad on Wednesday morning.
The Lions added Torgersen following the departure of Brad Kaaya, a quarterback prospect who gave the NFC North team a troubling season up until he left to sign with the Indianapolis Colts earlier this week.
Torgersen could have the chance to gain his footing on the Lions’ practice squad for several months, as Detroit’s season is effectively over, with just one game remaining and the team eliminated from playoff contention with an 8-7 record. The Lions are expected to hang onto Torgersen as they expand their roster to 90 men in the offseason and might consider keeping him on the roster when they cut to 53 players next fall.
For Torgersen, the signing represents a chance to start over after a rough start to his NFL career this season. Penn’s star quarterback was cut by the Washington Redskins just a month after signing for their practice squad in September, and was cut by the Atlanta Falcons when they trimmed their roster to 53 in September after failing to impress enough during the preseason.
The Californian got his chance to play NFL football in August when the Falcons played the Miami Dolphins in August. Torgersen completed all five of his passes for a total of 19 yards and rushed for 17 in addition to being sacked once .
Unfortunately, his next game didn’t fare as well. Against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Aug. 20, Torgersen threw an interception and went 2-for-8 for 25 yards.
His preseason numbers didn’t impress any NFL team enough to take him onto their active roster this season, but the former Penn great still has time on his side, in addition to record numbers from his time in the college game.
Torgersen had a record-shattering career for the Red and Blue. He led the Quakers to two consecutive Ivy League titles in his final two years on the squad, breaking the school records for career touchdowns (52), pass completion percentage (65.1) and yards of total offense (7,937) in the process.
Detroit plays a similar offensive scheme to Atlanta and Washington, so adding Torgersen seems to make sense for the Lions. The question for Torgersen will then be whether he can play at high enough of a level to merit staying on their squad.
That question should be answered around next preseason.