The final preseason game wasn't supposed to be this way for Lions' head coach Steve Mariucci.
His starting running back, James Stewart, was only going to play for a few series. Maybe two. Maybe three. Unfortunately for Detroit, Stewart was cut to barely two, but it wasn't Mariucci's call.
On the Lions' second offensive series in the first quarter, the 31-year old suffered a seperated right shoulder after receiving a blow from Buffalo Bills' safety Coy Wire. Although the degree of the injury isn't known at this time, it is doubtful Stewart will be ready for the season opener against Arizona on September 7.
That wouldn't be the only injury the Lions would have to shoulder, however.
Later in the first half, backup linebacker Brian Williams, who just last week was activated from the infirmary, seperated his left shoulder. The extent is also unknown.
Adding insult to injury, the Lions, who entered the game with a 2-1 record and momentum after blasting Cleveland last week, lost their preseason finale 22-16.
After a slow start, the Lions took their first lead of the contest after a Jason Hanson 46-yard field goal put the Lions in front 16-14 with 8:52 remaining in the third quarter.
That lead would quickly evaporate, however, during a 4th quarter Bills drive that spanned 16 plays and 85-yards, culminating in a one-yard Olandis Gary touchdown plunge. A two-point conversion handed Buffalo (3-1) a 22-16 lead they would not relinquish.
In limited action, Lions' quarterback Joey Harrington threw for just 16 yards on 2-of-4 passing. Backup Mike McMahon amassed 155 passing yards on 11-of-19 passing. Buffalo was led by Alex Van Pelt who completed 4-of-6 attempts for 64 yards and 1 touchdown.
The Bills jumped out to an early 7-0 lead following Antonio Brown's 75-yard touchdown return on a John Jett punt, and doubled that margin later in the first quarter on a Van Pelt 34-yard touchdown hook up with second-year receiver Josh Reed.
It would be the only time the Bills would get within scoring distance in the first half.
The Lions offense, led by quarterback Mike McMahon and shifty running by rookie Avon Cobourne, scored 13 unanswered points in the second quarter to pull within one at half time.
The Lions' kick-off their season opener next week against the Arizona Cardinals at Ford Field. Gametime is slated for 1:05 p.m. (EST).