Head on Collision

Cory Schlesinger isn't making any outrageous predictions, but conventional wisdom says Sunday could be a three-face mask game for the Lions' 11-year veteran fullback.

"I don't know," Schlesinger said. "I went through two last week; I'll at least go through one."

Schlesinger, who stands 6-0 and is listed at 247 pounds, is known among the Lions equipment men for demolishing face masks. He is the lead blocker for the Detroit running backs, and he is back to full-time duty after missing five games with a broken left fibula. He also plays on three special teams, and he approaches every block with 100 percent effort.

If he wrecked two face masks in part-time duty against the Cleveland Browns, imagine what he'll do playing virtually the entire game against Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher.

The Schlesinger-Urlacher battles have become almost legendary since Urlacher came into the NFL in the 2000 season.

With Schlesinger out of action for the Lions' game against the Bears on Sept. 18, Urlacher admitted that there was something missing in preparation. He said playing against Schlesinger was a measuring stick because he felt he was playing against one of the NFL's best blocking fullbacks.

Schlesinger has some of the same feelings about Urlacher, and couldn't be happier to be making his return to full-time duty against Urlacher and the Bears, with the two teams battling for first place in the NFC North.

"It's always exciting to play against a high-profile guy like him," Schlesinger said. "If you want to get on TV or really stick out, you've got to hit guys like him and you've got to hit them really hard."

The Chicago game has extra meaning for the Lions because of their poor showing in the 38-6 loss at Soldier Field.

"They beat the heck out of us in Chicago so we definitely have to come back and prove (we're) not the team that they beat," Schlesinger said. "We've got to come back and play a much stronger game. It's also a division game and our goal is to win the division this year.

"If we want to win the division, we have to come out and win this game."

Urlacher and the Bears defense will have something to say about the outcome.

PERSONNEL NEWS

  • DT Shaun Rogers did not practice all week but Lions coach Steve Mariucci did not rule the Pro Bowl defensive lineman out of the game Sunday. Rogers has a knee injury, suffered last Sunday at Cleveland, but might be able to play with minimum practice time if he is physically up to it.

  • PR/KR Eddie Drummond got more practice time Friday than he's had since suffering a hyperextended knee three weeks ago. If he is healthy enough to play, he probably would return kickoffs and might also get playing time at wide receiver, where the Lions have been hit hard by injuries and the suspension of Charles Rogers.

  • WR Roy Williams worked out in individual drills wearing his helmet but did not participate in any team drills this week because of the ongoing nature of his quadriceps injury. Coach Steve Mariucci says Williams will not play until he is able to practice at least once at 100 percent.

  • FS Terrence Holt returned to work Friday after being involved in a practice field collision Wednesday. Coach Steve Mariucci said he expects Holt to play Sunday against Chicago but wanted to give him time to rest after taking a jolt in the hip area.

  • LT Jeff Backus got limited work in practice because of a sprained left ankle suffered two weeks ago against Carolina. Backus played at Cleveland on Sunday despite getting virtually no practice time but came out of the game without doing additional serious damage and is likely to play against the Bears.

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