Joey's Named Starter, Elliss Returns to Practice

Things got a back to normal a little bit in Allen Park on Wednesday. Joey Harrington is the starting quarterback for the Detroit Lions and Luther Elliss resumed practicing with the team.

(ALLEN PARK) – Things got a back to normal a little bit in Allen Park on Wednesday. Joey Harrington is the starting quarterback for the Lions and Luther Elliss resumed practicing with the team.

The decisions bring a halt to the contentious discussions on talk shows and chat room regarding who would be the starter and it sends a signal to the current players that Harrington is still the leader of the offense.

Lions head coach Steve Mariucci said that he decided to go with Harrington after considering all the factors. “We tried to take everything into consideration. Too many things to go into but we just wanted to stay on course and continue to improve both he and Mike and everybody else on this team for that matter. We’re full speed ahead in that direction and, by the way, we had maybe our best practice of the season today.”

Mariucci said that more went into the decision than just Harrington’s poor performance in the Dallas game.

"I’ve got to take more into consideration than just the last game in making any snap decisions. I’ve got to take a lot of things into consideration: practice, meetings, past performance, health, potential – everything. The decision that we made was to continue with the depth that we have and make it better.”

While the position is settled for now, Mariucci reserved the right to change quarterback in the future if the situation warrants.

“We’ve got 10 games left. We’ve got a long season out in front of us. We’ve got a lot of things to work through and work with and so I try to keep it in the here and now and try to do what we think is best for right now. If that’s for the season or if that’s for the future then so be it but right now I’m concerned with the Chicago Bears game and trying to get ready to win this game. I just felt that at this point and time we should continue with what our plan has been.”

Harrington, for his part, was overjoyed at the decision.

“I feel great. I feel very good and it was a good phone call to receive last night but it doesn’t change anything. We still have to go win this weekend. It was tough not knowing (whether he would start on Sunday) but like I said on Monday it didn’t change anything and I still went about it the same way I do every other week. I was in on Monday, I was in on Tuesday and my preparation has been the same so there really hasn’t been too much of a deviation from the regular work week.”

Meanwhile, Detroit made the decision to reactive Luther Elliss off the PUP list meaning he has a 21-day period to rehabilitate. At the end of the 21 days, Detroit must either activate Elliss or put him on the injured reserve list, ending his season.

“I visited with Luther Elliss and I’m hoping to get him started practicing in pads so he can participate in this kind of a thing. He’s anxious. Corey Harris didn’t practice today because he’s got a strained neck. It felt better than yesterday but not well enough to practice today. It was a real physical practice. Jimmy Wyrick sat out, Az- Hakim was kind of working going through the practice but his shoulder is pretty sore. Stockar McDougle did not practice because of his shoulder. Hopefully he’ll go tomorrow.”

Elliss could be activated to the roster as early as this weekend, but unless there is an injury or a huge drop off in play for one of the current linemen, Elliss will likely not be activated until Detroit’s road trip to Seattle if at all this season.


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