Lions add oft-injured linemen to fold

Detroit continues to add more players to its offensive line group.  The team announced it had signed former third-round pick Courtney VanBuren to a one-year contract.

ALLEN PARK - Detroit continues to add more players to its offensive line group.  The team announced it had signed former third-round pick Courtney VanBuren to a one-year contract.

The team continues to take the same approach to the position as it did a season ago, that is signing low-level and injured players, hoping to find a diamond in the rough.  Last year the team inked guard Dave Loverne, tackle Kyle Kosier and guard Rick DeMulling and only Kosier panned out.

VanBuren was drafted out of Arkansas-Pine Bluff by San Diego but spent three injury riddled seasons there before the Chargers gave up on him.  VanBuren quickly rose to a starting position but suffered his first of a series of three straight serious knee injuries and landed on injured reserve.  He got into the season opener in 2004 and hasn't played since.  He suffered season ending knee injuries in both 2004 and 2005.

Detroit is taking a flier on a player with talent, hoping that he can stay healthy.  If not, they'll turn the page with little obligation.  The approach is similar with Tucker who signed earlier in the week.

The team lost out on a player that it wanted to at least have contract conversations with when former Cowboys nine-time pro bowl guard Larry Allen signed a two-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers.  Detroit is likely finished with free agent signings and will turn its attention towards getting its house in order with the current roster.

Detroit will also likely address the offensive line in the upcoming NFL draft in April.


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