(ALLEN PARK) - After fourteen weeks, Lions fans are finally going to get a
look at running back Artose Pinner.. .well at least it appears that way.
Pinner, of whom Lions head coach Steve Mariucci said was having trouble picking up the blocking schemes earlier, was declared much better by the coach after today's practice session and Mariucci indicated he expects to use him at least a little on Sunday at Kansas City.
"He took every nine-on-seven snap," said Mariucci.
"He showed some burst today. He's just getting better. He's practicing more
and he's feeling a little bit more comfortable. Rome wasn't built in a day,
there's still a lot of time. Right now we're on course to have him play a little
bit this weekend. We just have to determine whose place he's going to take as
far as the actives are concerned but he had a better practice. This was his best
If Pinner is activated, Detroit will have to find someone else to deactivate, it could be Olandis Gary, it could be Shawn Bryson, but that is not likely. Mariucci would likely sit one of his extra defensive lineman down or he could choose to sit Eddie Drummond who is still dinged up after last Sunday's loss to San Diego.
"He (Drummond) limped around a little bit today more than yesterday but he's getting closer. We'll see. He's a ‘maybe' guy. That may be a game day decision. We'll see if he can do this and if not Reggie Swinton will return."
That would free up an active roster spot for Pinner, but Mariucci cautioned that fans shouldn't expect the fourth round pick to carry the load immediately. In fact, he isn't sure exactly how many carries Pinner would get.
"I don't know. We'll just see how the game goes. He's only going to be in base right now."
NOTEBOOK: Detroit very likely will tie the all-time mark for consecutive road losses with their 22nd if they fall to the 11-2 Chiefs on Sunday. Still, with the mark looming on the horizon, Mariucci refused to get caught up in what that means.
"I try not to think much about it unless I get reminded. We dwell on preparing for the game and trying to put a plan together that could win the game. We try to keep our focus that way. We don't dwell on that. We don't consume our every thought with that. We consume our thoughts on focusing and preparing; preparing to win and compete in each game. I can't do it any other way."
Detroit as expected had long snapper Jody Littleton in practice today along with safety Julius Curry. Littleton had been working as a high school coach in Texas but has fresh legs and is ready to go.
"Do you know what he's been doing," asked Mariucci? "He's been coaching a high school football team in Texas. They got beat in the first round of the playoffs. He's ready. He jumps in with the linebackers in their meeting. He livened it up – he got them going in the beginning of practice."