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Lions promote Wildwood’s Wes Hills to active roster


Wes Hills could see his first NFL action tomorrow.

The Wildwood High School graduate has been promoted from the practice squad of the Detroit Lions to the team’s active roster, the team announced Saturday. He is expected to be in uniform for Sunday’s home game against Tampa Bay.

Hills has been brought into the active roster after an injury to running back Bo Scarborough. Hills will be one of just three running backs in uniform for the Lions Sunday, along with Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic.

Hills, a 6-1, 205-pound running back, was signed by the Lions to their practice squad in early October after being released with an injury settlement by the Arizona Cardinals out of training camp. He was briefly released by the Lions two weeks later but then was re-signed just a few days later after running back Kerryon Johnson was placed on injured reserve.

Hills had originally signed with the Cardinals as a free agent in May after going unselected in the 2019 NFL Draft. He led the team in rushing with 63 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries and also caught two passes for 18 yards in the preseason but did not make the 53-man roster in September.

The Lions bring a record of 3-9-1 into tomorrow’s matchup with Tampa Bay. One of their three victories came over the Eagles in Philadelphia on Sept. 22. Tomorrow’s game against the Bucs is scheduled for 1 p.m. It is not scheduled to air in the Philadelphia-South Jersey market, although those with certain satellite packages will be able to view the game.

Hills played football last season at Division II Slippery Rock, where he rushed for a program-record 1,714 yards and scored 17 touchdowns even though he missed two full games and most of another due to a shoulder injury. He went on to earn MVP honors at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl at the Rose Bowl in mid January after rushing for 79 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. He then played in the Senior Bowl the following week in Mobile, Ala., and reeled off a 22-yard run on his first carry before leaving the game due to injury.

Hills played three seasons at FCS Delaware after graduating from Wildwood in 2013. He averaged 8.1 yards per carry and was a special teams standout as a freshman before running for 952 yards and six touchdowns as a sophomore. He took a medical redshirt after suffering a season-ending injury in the first game of his junior season. He came back the following year and averaged 8.3 yards per carry and scored seven touchdowns for the Blue Hens.

Hills left Delaware prior to his senior season and sat out a year before landing at Slippery Rock ahead of the 2018 season.

As a high school player at Wildwood, Hills set Cape May County records with 2,107 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns while leading Wildwood to its first-ever South Jersey playoff berth under the current NJSIAA playoff system. Hills was also a standout in basketball and track as a high school athlete.