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One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.


Detroit Lions Ndamukong Suh mum on suspension, appeal

ALLEN PARK — Ndamukong Suh had very little to say on Wednesday, his first chance to talk to the media since he was suspended on Monday and then won his appeal on Tuesday

Most of the questions directed at him obviously dealt with his suspension that was turned. It was Suh’s first time talking to the media since he stepped on Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers’ left leg twice. He didn’t talk after Sunday’s game.

On Wednesday he responded to nine questions: “Next question.’’

When asked what happened with Rodgers, Suh said, “I’m looking forward to playing against Dallas.”

When asked about the main points of his appeal, he said, “I’m looking forward to playing against Dallas.’’

On and on.

He did open up for a quick second about his reaction that he won the appeal.

“I’m just pleased with the decision and glad I have the opportunity to go against Dallas and help my teammates win the game,’’ Suh said. “I think that’s most important. It’s going to be a big day at practice putting everything in.’’

Wednesday was the Lions’ first day of practice in preparation to play the Cowboys in a wild-card game on Sunday. It’s the first playoff game since 2011 and just the second since 1999.

Coach Jim Caldwell didn’t want to talk much about the Suh situation either including the team’s involvement in the appeal process.

“Those things are procedure where the league talks to those who are involved and makes an assessment from what’s presented,’’ Caldwell said. “Our involvement is minimal.’’

Obviously the coach is happy to have Suh available for Sunday’s playoff game.

“Any time you have a guy who does what he does for us, he plays great, he’s a real factor in every game,’’ Caldwell said. “It’s great to have him back.’’

The coach is big on second chances, he’s said this all season for a variety of issues.
He said he still trusts Suh.

“We’re all human. I for one and certainly others in this room I would say have made mistakes in their lives and certainly I’m going to make more, that’s just the way I am,’’ Caldwell said. “I would assume everybody else may fall into that same category.’’


Join live chat on Detroit Lions at 10 a.m. on Wednesday

Join me at 10 a.m. on Wednesday for a chat discussing the Detroit Lions as they prepare to play the Cowboys in a wild-card game on Sunday at Dallas. Plenty to discuss including the status of Ndamukong Suh and the problems with the offense. Join in, it's always fun.


UPDATED: Detroit Lions Ndamukong Suh suspended for 1 game

ALLEN PARK — Ndamukong Suh has been suspended for one game per a report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.

Suh stepped twice on the left leg of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers late in Sunday’s 30-20 loss to the Packers. The first step with Suh’s right foot appeared accidental. Then the next step with his left foot appeared to be purposeful.

"You did not respond in the manner of someone who had lost his balance and accidentally contacted another player who was lying on the ground," NFL vice president of football operations Merton Hanks said in a letter to Suh. "This illegal contact, specifically the second step and push off with your left foot, clearly could have been avoided.

"You unnecessarily stepped on your opponent's unprotected leg as he lay on the ground unable to protect himself."

Suh can appeal the fine on Tuesday in an expedited process with an answer by Wednesday.


This likely means the Lions will be playing without Suh and Nick Fairley in Sunday’s playoff game against the Cowboys at Dallas. 

Earlier Monday, coach Jim Caldwell said it’d be a miracle if Fairley could play Sunday. Fairley has been out with a knee injury since Oct. 26.

Look for C.J. Mosley, who has started eight games for Fairley, to start along with Andre Fluellen or Jason Jones.

Suh’s history of discipline issues no doubt played into the decision to suspend him.
In 2011 he was suspended for two games for stomping on Green Bay’s Evan Dietrich-Smith.

Last year he was fined $100,000 for an illegal low block on Vikings’ center John Sullivan. He has a long history of fines dating back to his rookie season in 2010.

Suh will be a free agent in March. This suspension could certainly be costly. It will likely be taken into consideration by teams who are interested. If he's paid big money, teams will want him to be available on Sundays.

Caldwell said he talked with Ndamukong Suh about stepping on Rodgers, but wouldn’t reveal the content of the conversation.

“I did have a chance to look at it, we looked at it closely. I had a chance to visit with (Suh) and all those kinds of things which you would anticipate and expect,’’ Caldwell said. 

Suh did not talk to the media following the game.

Caldwell wouldn’t share his thoughts on the matter prior to the announcement of the suspension.


The previous week Caldwell had talked to Dominic Raiola about stepping on Chicago’s Ego Ferguson. Caldwell said he believed Raiola that it was inadvertent but could see both sides. Raiola was suspended for Sunday’s game. 

“There’s an old adage that you prepare for the worst and hope for the best,’’ Caldwell said Monday. “I think you always have to do that in our business.’’

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions injury update: Would take miracle for Nick Fairley to play Sunday

ALLEN PARK — Lions coach Jim Caldwell said it would take a miracle for Nick Fairley to be able to play on Sunday at Dallas. 

“It’d be a miracle, I can’t rule it out but it’d be a miracle,’’ Caldwell said on Monday.

The coach stopped short of ruling the defensive tackle out for the rest of the playoffs, saying it’s a “possibility.”

Also, said he was uncertain about status of right guard Larry Warford who was unable to finish Sunday’s game with a knee injury. 

“Not certain, not ruled out at this stage. Not certain yet we’ll have to see,’’ Caldwell said.

The Lions, who lost 30-20 to the Packers on Sunday, play the Cowboys in a wild-card game at 4:40 p.m. on Sunday in Dallas.

Detroit Lions — Jim Caldwell awaits NFL ruling on Ndamukong Suh's actions

ALLEN PARK — Lions coach Jim Caldwell talked with Ndamukong Suh about stepping on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but would not reveal the content of the conversation.

Suh stepped on Rodgers’ left leg twice — once with his right foot, then his left foot — late in Sunday’s 30-20 loss to the Packers.

“I did have a chance to look at it, we looked at it closely. I had a chance to visit with (Suh) and all those kinds of things which you would anticipate and expect,’’ Caldwell said on Monday. “The league is taking a look at it, we’ll see what happens. We’ll have a ruling on it soon.’’

Suh did not talk to the media following the game.

Caldwell wouldn’t share his thoughts on the matter.

“Personal views don’t matter in this particular case. ... Obviously one of those situations that they’ll have to rule on,’’ Caldwell said.

The previous week Caldwell had talked to Dominic Raiola about stepping on Chicago’s Ego Ferguson. Caldwell said he believed Raiola that it was inadvertent but could see both sides. Raiola was suspended for Sunday’s game. 

Suh faces a possible suspension or a heavy fine. He’s previously been fined eight times by the NFL and served a two-game suspension in 2011 for stomping on Green Bay’s Evan Dietrich-Smith.

“There’s an old adage that you prepare for the worst and hope for the best,’’ Caldwell said. “I think you always have to do that in our business.’’

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions won last 2 against the Cowboys

ALLEN PARK — Since 2011, the Lions and Cowboys have met twice in the regular season and Detroit won both.

The two teams will match up in a wild-card game on Sunday at 4:40 p.m. in Dallas with the Lions as the sixth seed and the Cowboys as the third.

On Oct. 27. 2013, the Lions beat the Cowboys 31-30 in a record-setting day for Calvin Johnson who had the second-most receiving yards ever in an NFL game with 329 on 14 catches. Matthew Stafford was 33-48 for 488 yards that day. Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and Stafford each had 1-yard touchdown runs. The win at Ford Field gave the Lions a 5-3 record midway through the season.

On Oct. 2, 2011, the Lions made their second trip to the new Cowboys Stadium also known as Jerry Dome. They beat the ‘Boys 34-30 to up their record to 4-0. Stafford was 21-43 for 240 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Johnson had eight catches for 96 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Brandon Pettigrew had six for 64 yards. Jahvid Best had a team-best 47 yards rushing. In the first trip to the glittery stadium on Nov. 21, 2010, the Lions lost 35-19. The loss dropped the season record to 2-8.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions — Matthew Stafford, offense need to improve to win playoff game

The Detroit Lions’ defense is playing well enough to win a playoff game.

Special teams has to tighten up. They allowed a punt return for a touchdown early Sunday. Not acceptable.

Then there’s the offense. Not sure if it’s Matthew Stafford or the play-calling. Or the offensive line protection or the receivers. The run game has come around in the past few weeks. 

Where do you start evaluating Stafford?

A week ago, Lions coach Jim Caldwell defended his young quarterback.

Specifically he said:  “Let me just tell you something, he’s a man’s man, he’s a tough guy, he gets hit out there every single ball game, he hangs in there, and there may be one he’d like to have back but then there’s a couple others that’s probably not all his fault ...”  

And Caldwell added that he thought much of the criticism came from the local media.

That said, Stafford needs to play better than he did in the 30-20 loss at Green Bay if the Lions are to have a chance at beating the Cowboys on Sunday in Dallas (kickoff 4:40 p.m.).

FOX had a stat during Sunday’s game that said Stafford is 0-16 on the road against teams with winning records. The stat should read Stafford and the Lions.

It’s tough to evaluate Stafford because he’s not a one-man band. Receivers need to get open, run the right routes and catch the ball when it’s close. 

Sunday he was playing with rookies at center and right tackle. For most of the game Garrett Reynolds at right guard after Larry Warford was injured. It's remarkable he was only sacked twice. He didn’t have much time to get the ball out. He does seem better at deciding when to throw the ball away.

While tight end Eric Ebron is improving, he still plays like a rookie at times.

Stafford was 20 of 41 for 217 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. 
It’s key that he didn’t have a turnover.

But he threw eight straight incompletions. His fault, the receivers’ fault? Let’s blame all parties.

Caldwell's message after the game was that playoffs is an all new season. We'll see if the offense can take a step in the right direction.


Detroit Lions — Ndamukong Suh steps on Rodgers, controversy ensues

Another NFL Sunday, another Lions’ controversy.

Late in Sunday’s 30-20 loss to the Packers at Green Bay, quarterback Aaron Rodgers was down on the field after throwing a pass.

Ndamukong Suh took a step backward with his right foot which landed on Rodgers’ left leg, the site of his calf injury.

Instead of getting out of the way, Suh then stepped on Rodgers’ left leg with his left foot. Rodgers looked steamed and tried to push Suh away. No penalty was called.

On NBC Sunday night, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King said the league will review the play on Monday. King referred to it as a “stomp” which seems harsh. Suh faces a possible fine. Seems unlikely he would be suspended for a playoff game.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy called Suh’s moves “ridiculous” in the post-game press conference.

Suh did not talk to the media after the game.

The Lions’ defensive tackle has been fined eight times by the NFL in his career. He was suspended for two games in 2011 for stomping on Green Bay’s Evan Dietrich-Smith.

Lions center Dominic Raiola was suspended for Sunday’s game for stomping on Chicago’s Ego Ferguson the previous game. He will be reinstated on Monday.

Detroit Lions — No surprises among inactives; Packers keep 3 QBs active

No surprises among the Detroit Lions inactives for the huge game at Green Bay.

Curiously enough though, the Packers are keeping all three quarterbacks active. That could be a sign that they have some concern with Aaron Rodgers’ calf which limited him in practice all week.

Rookie Travis Swanson will start for Dominic Raiola which is no surprise. Darren Keyton, who was signed from the practice squad on Saturday, is active and will be the backup center.

Other inactives for the Lions: Nick Fairley, Ryan Broyles, Larry Webster, Rodney Austin, Caraun Reid, Josh Thomas and Kellen Moore.

Inactives for the Packers: RB DuJuan Harris, CB Davon House. LB Carl Bradford, C Garth Gerhart, TE Justin Perillo, WR Jeff Janis and DT Bruce Gaston.

Kickoff is 4:25 on FOX with Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Erin Andrews.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions could snap 2 ugly streaks with win over Packers

Jim Caldwell said every team he’s coached has had some kind of ugly streak, some string that had to be snapped. Some demon that had to be exorcised.

Of course, the Detroit Lions are no different.

While Caldwell and his roster aren’t responsible for these streaks, it’s up to them to make them go away. 

Led by Caldwell, the Lions have the opportunity to break three really ugly streaks. With a win over the Packers at Green Bay today, they can snap two of them.

The three toughest streaks that could be snapped in next week:

1. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the Lions have not beaten the Packers in the state of Wisconsin since 1991. They have come close, certainly not al 23 games have been blowouts, but the Lions have never managed to win even one. Twenty-three season is a long time in the NFL. If the Lions lose today it’s not because of this streak. They are bringing the best defense they’ve had in that stretch to Lambeau today. The Packers are tougher than ever at home. If the Lions can pull out a win not only will this streak be gone, but ...

2. The Lions could win their first division title since 1993. It was the NFC Central then, not the NFC North. The final two regular season games that year were at Chicago, then against the Packers at the Silverdome. The Lions won both. Then Detroit hosted a playoff game against the Packers again and lost 28-24. This all would be moot point if Alex Henery hadn’t missed three field goals in the home 17-14 loss to the Bills. But it happened, so onward.

3. In 1991 the Lions won the first playoff game since 1957 when they won the NFL World Championship. That 1991 post-season win still stands as the last one. It was a 38-6 win over Dallas at the Silverdome. After the 2011 season, the Lions lost 45-28 to the Saints at New Orleans (see photo) — that was Detroit’s seventh straight playoff loss. A win today, would give the Lions a first-round bye and a home playoff game. That would greatly enhance the Lions’ chances to win a playoff game again. It’s easier to win a playoff game at home as a No. 2 seed rather than on the road as the No. 6 seed.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Detroit Lions — Dominic Raiola's suspension upheld

Dominic Raiola’s one-game suspension was upheld after an NFL appeal hearing on Tuesday.

The veteran Detroit Lions center will miss Sunday’s key game at Green Bay, snapping his 99-game starting streak. 
Raiola stomped on Chicago’s Ego Ferguson in the win over the Bears on Sunday. He was not penalized for the play.

Rookie Travis Swanson, who started four games this season for an injured Larry Warford at right guard, will likely start for Raiola.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said with Raiola out, he’ll be watching the way the line interacts with each other.

“Their guards have been steady for those guys, more than steady, as far as playing, you know, they got some new faces on the O-line since the last time we played them,’’ McCarthy said in a conference call. “Those are the types of things we’re paying close attention to and just getting ready for their whole line.”

McCarthy said the Packers are familiar with Swanson who they liked coming out of the draft. The Lions drafted him in the third round out of Arkansas.

“He’s a good football player. His size, he looks like he’s definitely in control. I don’t think the scheme or the load of running a multiple personnel offense, I think he definitely fits with what they’re trying to do,’’ McCarthy said. 

“I think the thing you have to really look at is and that’s what we have, we’ve done it. You look at the number of snaps he’s played in their OT packages and the fact that your back-up center is out there playing the tight end position, I think says a lot about him,’’ McCarthy added.

Coach Jim Caldwell said on Monday that he believed Raiola when he said it was inadvertent, although after watching film Caldwell could see both sides.

The Packers practiced on Tuesday and will take Christmas day off.

The Lions had Tuesday off which is the normal routine and will practice Thursday in the late afternoon. Coach Jim Caldwell met with the leadership council before deciding whether to practice on Christmas day.

Kickoff is 4:25 p.m. on Sunday.

Five reasons these Detroit Lions are different

Let it go, please let it go.

If I could ban one phrase immediately and forever from the English language it would be “Same Old Lions.”

Please get over it.

We are not frozen in time. 

What resemblance does this bunch have to teams of the recent past?

They play close games, but they mostly win them. They are 7-1 at home and 4-3 on the road in the first season under coach Jim Caldwell.

Just because a game is close, doesn’t make the Lions failures.

In the NFL, it’s not how you win but how many you win.

Maybe you’ve noticed that NFL games are often about the unexpected.

Did you think the woebegone Redskins would upset the Eagles on Saturday night?

The New England Patriots went down to the wire with the Jets on Sunday. Were you expecting that?

Me either.

Not saying these Lions are the best or even that they will win a playoff game. There’s just no denying they are different.

Here are five reasons these are the new Lions and should not now or ever be compared to the old bunch:

1. They are 11-4. First time the Lions have won 11 games since 1991 when they finished 12-4.

2. They’ve clinched a playoff berth for second time since 1999. With a win on Sunday at Green Bay they could win their first division title since 1993.

3. The defense came out solid in week one and has improved. There is no such thing as a perfect defense in the NFL, but this group is formidable.

4. Matthew Stafford gets dumped on every week. No, he’s not perfect. He’s too inconsistent. But he makes smarter decisions now and there’s nowhere he’d rather be than leading a fourth-quarter comeback. He’s strong, he’s got guts and he’s matured in his six NFL seasons. 

5. Jim Caldwell is not like other Lions coaches. He’s won two Super Bowl rings and he brought the Colts to the Super Bowl in his first season as a head coach. He’s changed the attitude of the team. He respects them, treats them like men and, in turn, they respect him and, from all accounts, love playing for him. Why wouldn’t they? He’s got them believing in themselves and playing with confidence.

The Lions are not an elite NFL team, that takes years.

But they are not the same as they have been in the past. They are not.

So please, please enjoy what you see.

Did you expect an 11-win season? Not many did. And, in fact, it could be 12 wins.

These Lions are different. Admit it.

I beg of you, let it go.

Detroit Lions — Check out chat transcript

If you missed the Christmas Eve chat, check out the transcript here starting at the bottom. Much discussion on the suspension of Dominic Raiola; and also on Travis Swanson who will start at center on Sunday. Join me for the next chat at 1p a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 31. — Paula Pasche


Detroit Lions Dominic Raiola suspended for one game

ALLEN PARK >> Lions center Dominic Raiola has been suspended for one game by the NFL for stepping on Bears Ego Ferguson.

Raiola will miss Sunday’s game at the Green Bay Packers that will determine the winner of the NFC North.

He will have an opportunity to appeal with an immediate answer.

Raiola will not be allowed to attend team meetings and functions until he is reinstated on Dec. 29. He also can not attend or watch practices; appear at the club’s facility; attend press conferences; appear at the team’s Dec. 28 game, or have contact with any club personnel except to arrange off-site medical treatment. 

Earlier on Monday, coach Jim Caldwell said that he believes Raiola when he said stepping on Bears’ Ego Ferguson was inadvertent in Sunday’s win at Chicago.

The Detroit Lions coach addressed the situation in his press conference.

“Obviously I took a good look at it both the coach’s copy and also the television copy as well. I believe what Dom told me that it was inadvertent, but I can see why —obviously it’s being reviewed by the league and everybody is taking a good look at it — you can also see the other side as well,’’ Caldwell said.

Raiola told reporters after the game that he had apologized to Ferguson at the end of the game, told him it was unintentional and the two shook hands.

Ferguson misses a few snaps but was able to complete the game.

No penalty was called on the play.

The suspension will break a string of 99 straight starts for Raiola
who was fined $10,000 after the New England game on Nov. 23 for unnecessary roughness for striking defensive lineman Zach Moore in the back of the head.

Caldwell said they will adjust in case of a suspension.

“Just like we’ve done the rest of the year, we’ve had significant injuries, significant setbacks and the guys find a way,’’ Caldwell said.

Rookie Travis Swanson, who started four games at right guard when Larry Warford was injured, could fill in for the 35-year-old Raiola.

“We have options, (Swanson is) one of those options,’’ Caldwell said. “He’s a guy that’s played, understands it, he’s got some snaps under his belt.’’

Another possibility would be Rodney Austin who played in one game in 2013. He was brought up from the practice squad on Nov. 25.

“It’s one of those things where obviously you can’t replace experience but nevertheless youth and vitality will be able to offset some of that — you certainly can’t offset all of that,’’ Caldwell said.

Raiola has started 203 games for the Lions.

Detroit Lions — Nate Burleson speaks to Dominic Raiola

Today on the NFL Network’s “The Aftermath” former Lions wide receiver and current network analyst Nate Burleson shared his thoughts on Dominic Raiola and Sunday’s incident in the win at the Chicago Bears.

Burleson said : “I talked to him on the phone a couple of hours ago and initially he was telling me that it wasn’t intentional as it seems. He said he reached out to him after the game, he apologized and as I was speaking to him he was choked up. He was close to tears. He said this is the one game that I get to go to Green Bay and do something I’ve never done in my career in Detroit. It was a tough conversation for me to have because I played with him for four years and I know how passionate he is. Sometimes people see something visually and they jump to conclusions or they make an assessment. I played with Dom. I love Dom. He’s a really good dude. I can’t break down the film. I’ll let the NFL do what they do.”

Raiola, who turns 36 on Dec. 30, has played 14 seasons with the Detroit Lions and never beat the Packers in Wisconsin.

Initial reports say he’ll be suspended for one game, but nothing is official yet.


Detroit Lions — No surprises among inactives vs. Bears

No startling news for the Lions on active players against the Bears at Soldier Field today.

Nick Fairley remains out and hasn’t practiced since his knee injury on Oct. 26.

As expected Cornelius Lucas will start at right tackle in place of LaAdrian Waddle who was placed on injured reserve this week.

Cornerback Josh Thomas, who practiced for the first time on Thursday, after he was claimed off waivers from the Jets, is active. Expect to see him on special teams.

Other Lions inactives:  Wide receiver Ryan Broyles,  cornerback Mohammed Seisay, guard Rodney Austin, defensive end Larry Webster, defensive tackle Caraun Reid and quarterback Kellen Moore.

Bears inactives include right guard Kyle Long (hip). Long vs. Ndamukong Suh was expected to be a key matchup in the game.

Also: DT Will Sutton, kicker Robbie Gould, QB David Fales, S Chris Conte, CB Terrance Mitchell and DE Trevor Scott.

Detroit Lions — Five keys against Bears today; plus prediction

The Lions are in the playoffs, thanks to the Eagles loss to the Redskins on Saturday night. Still today’s game against the Chicago Bears is important in the quest to win the NFC North. Detroit roasted the Bears on Thanksgiving, today they’ll go for the sweep.

Here are five keys for the Lions:

1. Jimmy Clausen, who hasn’t started a game since 2010, should be easy to rattle especially with the Detroit Lions’ defensive line. They should go after him early and often to get him off his game. 

2. Don’t take Clausen lightly. Yes his last start was in 2010 when he was 1-9 for the Carolina Panthers. Still, there’s a reason the Bears are going with him over Jay Cutler.

3. Stop the run. With Clausen in at quarterback, expect plenty of rushing attempts from Matt Forte and the rest. Make the Bears one-dimensional because chances are Clausen is not going to throw for 480 yards.

4. The weather forecast is for 38 degrees and sunny -— practically spring in Chicago. So the Lions’ passing game should be operational.

5. Get the ball to Calvin Johnson he had 146 receiving yards and two touchdowns the last time these two teams met on Thanksgiving. Will the Bears change up their coverage? You would think, but then the Lions will just have to figure it out.

Prediction: Lions 45, Bears 9


Detroit Lions — C.J. Mosley, Rob Sims don't practice

ALLEN PARK — Lions defensive tackle C.J. Mosley, who was added late to Wednesday’s injury report, did not practice today (Thursday) because he's a new dad. 

Also left guard Rob Sims didn’t practice because he was under the weather. A flu bug has gone through the locker room since last week.

Defensive end George Johnson, who missed on Wednesday with an illness, returned to work on Thursday.

New cornerback Josh Thomas, who was claimed off waivers from the Jets, was at work wearing No. 24.

Nick Fairley (knee) also did not practice.

The Lions practiced in outdoor temps of 31 degrees in preparation for the game at Chicago on Sunday. The forecast for the Windy City is 38 and sunny.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)

Detroit Lions Caldwell says 'bit of unknown' with Bears' Jimmy Clausen

ALLEN PARK — It was adjustment time when the Lions coaching staff heard early Wednesday night that quarterback Jimmy Clausen would be starting for the Bears instead of Jay Cutler on Sunday in Chicago.

“We had a chance to take a look at him, there’s always still a question of whether they’ll do the same things they’ve been doing with him,’’ coach Jim Caldwell said on Thursday morning. “There’s certainly a bit of an unknown there. There’s enough tape of him in preseason and things of that nature to get a good look at him.’’


Clausen played in three preseason games for the Bears with two touchdowns and one interception in limited play. He’s played garbage time — the Bears were too far behind for a comeback — in three regular season games and was 3 of 9 passing for 42 yards and a 49.3 quarterback rating.

Cutler was benched amid a host of problems including the fact he’s thrown 18 interceptions and the Bears are 5-9.

“Cutler is a little different guy, he’s a pretty incredible QB in terms of athleticism, ability and those kinds of things. He has experience,’’ Caldwell said. “Clausen is very capable though.’’

The Lions need a win on Sunday to clinch a playoff berth.

Caldwell said the Lions will not take Clausen lightly. The Lions have lost games to two backup quarterbacks this season — Cardinals’ Drew Stanton and Buffalo’s Kyle Orton.

Prior to this season Clausen had not played for three seasons while with the Carolina Panthers.

As a rookie in 2010 he started 10 games for the Panthers going 1-9.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Detroit Lions chat set for 3 p.m. on Thursday

Join me at 3 p.m. on Thursday for a live chat discussing the Detroit Lions as they prepare to face the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Soldier Field. Quarterback Jay Cutler has been benched in favor of Jimmy Clausen who is 1-9 as an NFL starter. Plenty to discuss.

Detroit Lions to face Bears' Jimmy Clausen after Cutler benched

It’s Plan B for the Lions who won’t have to figure out how to stop quarterback Jay Cutler on Sunday.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Chicago Bears (5-9) will bench Cutler  in favor of Jimmy Clausen when the division rivals meet at Soldier Field.

The Lions (10-4) can clinch a playoff spot with a win.

So far this season, Cutler has 28 touchdown passes and 18 interceptions. Two of those picks came in the Thanksgiving loss to the Lions at Ford Field.

Clausen has completed three of nine attempts in garbage time in three games this season where the Bears didn’t have a chance for a comeback.

In 2011, 2012 and 2013 Clausen played for the Carolina Panthers, but was not active for a game.

He was 1-9 as a rookie starter for the Panthers who drafted him in the second round out of Notre Dame. He threw three touchdowns against nine interceptions and lost two of his nine fumbles.

Still, the Lions cannot take Clausen lightly. 

In the final game of the 2011 season, the Lions played the Packers who had Matt Flynn at quarterback instead of Aaron Rodgers. Easy win? Not so much. Flynn threw for 480 yards and six touchdowns in the Packers’ 45-41 win at Green Bay.

Detroit Lions Glover Quin named NFC defensive player of week

ALLEN PARK — Detroit Lions veteran safety Glover Quin has been named NFC defensive player of the week.

It was Quin’s interception of Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater late in the second quarter on Sunday that turned the game around. The Lions had been behind 14-0 at that point. They turned it around and won 16-14.

Quin is tied for the lead league with six interceptions. He has one in each of the last three games.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Detroit Lions — Three playoff scenarios for Sunday

After watching the Chicago Bears loss on Monday night, the Detroit Lions should not have a problem getting a win on Sunday at Soldier Field. 

The Bears (5-9) were much worse than the 31-15 score indicated. Anything can happen, but the Bears have a day less to prepare and look dysfunctional.

The Lions (10-4) have opened as 4.5-point favorites.

Detroit is currently in first place in the NFC North with a 10-4 record that is identical to the Packers. That Week 3 win over Green Bay at Ford Field was huge. has come up with three playoff scenarios for the Lions on Sunday:
— Detroit clinches NFC North with a win and a Packers loss.
— Detroit clinches a first-round bye with a win, a Packers loss and a Cowboys loss.
— Detroit clinches a playoff spot with a win or an Eagles loss.

The Packers play at Tampa Bay (2-12), while the Cowboys (10-4) host the Colts (10-4). The Eagles (9-5) are at the Redskins (3-11).

The Lions last went to the playoffs in 2011 and clinched the wild-card berth in Week 16.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)