Williams To Return; Rogers Still Questionable
With third-year receiver Charles Rogers cleared to play on Sunday at Minnesota after fulfilling a four-game suspension, Lions' head coach Steve Mariucci held out little hope on Friday that he would even be on the roster come gametime.
Mariucci dodged a flurry of questions asking why Rogers, who could be used to boost Detroit's unproductive offense, might not even dress.
"We haven't decided one way or another yet," said Mariucci regarding whether or not Rogers would be activated - let alone play. "We are trying to work through that."
During his hiatus, Rogers could not practice in any capacity with his teammates. Mariucci hinted that rust might be playing a role in his decision to keep Rogers on ice.
"I think for us to expect a player to be perfect and as sharp as ever after a month off, might be wishful thinking and I think he has to get back into the flow of things," Mariucci said. "I think there is a little rust, if I can use that word, I don't know. I think he can be sharper. I think he can be better and hopefully that comes as we continue to practice."
Fellow receiver Roy Williams, meanwhile, will likely start after missing the team's last three games with a sore quadriceps. Williams practiced sparingly on Friday in attempt to rest up.
"He feels he is going to go," said Mariucci, who met with the entire receiving unit before practice. "He feels like he is going to try to go and he feels like he is going to be able to go."
If Rogers is unable to go, the Lions will likely start rookie Mike Williams and a resurgent Scottie Vines. Considered the team's best athlete at his size, the 6-2, 203 lb Vines had five receptions during last week's loss to Chicago.
Mariucci also didn't rule out the possible use of return specialist/receiver Eddie Drummond, the recently acquired Troy Edwards, or even a promotion of practice squad player Glenn Martinez.
"No decisions have been made," said Mariucci. "A lot of it is going to depend on their health and who can play what. Position flexibility is a big thing because of all the injuries that we have with the receivers.
"Some guys that can play two or three spots are valuable."
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