Injuries catching up with Lions

Considering the injury situation, the Detroit Lions are probably wishing -- deep down -- that they had their bye week coming up this week instead of two weeks from now after a home game against Buffalo and a road game with the New York Jets. More inside.

Injuries are a fact of life in the NFL; every team experiences them and -- for better or worse -- survives them.

But the Lions are probably wishing -- deep down -- that they had their bye week coming up this week instead of two weeks from now after a home game against Buffalo and a road game with the New York Jets.

Barring a medical miracle or two within the next 72 hours, there is a good chance the Lions will be lining up against the Bills without three starting offensive linemen, including Pro Bowler Damien Woody, as well as their best receiver (Roy Williams), a starting defensive tackle (Shaun Cody), the starting strong safety (Kenoy Kennedy) and their starting strong-side linebacker (Alex Lewis).

In the words of quarterback Jon Kitna: "We're scrambling right now. I mean, we're a beat-up team. We're scrambling right now but nobody gives a crap. We've got to find a way to win."

Even with all hands on deck -- or most hands on deck -- the Lions haven't been able to win yet this season. They are 0-5 in the worst start since the 2001 team lost its first 12 games on the way to a 2-14 record in the first season under Marty Mornhinweg.

The offensive line injuries and the injury to Williams are particularly tough for the Lions to take. They had been trying to make do without left guard Ross Verba (hamstring) and right tackle Rex Tucker (knee), but if they lose Woody (mid-foot sprain) for any length of time it would be particularly difficult. They simply don't have the kind of depth necessary to pick up the slack for three starters.

It will be even worse if they have to go an extended period without Williams, who was the NFL's receiving yardage leader before suffering a stinger in his upper back on the Lions' third offensive play in a 26-17 loss to Minnesota on Sunday.

"He's our best player right now so hopefully he'll be able to come back," Kitna said. "I don't know the diagnosis or anything but it's unfortunate because he was our best player. He was really playing at the top of the league right now and it's too bad."

The Lions won't know the extent of the injuries to Williams or Woody until they come back from their off-day Tuesday to begin preparations for the Buffalo game. And they won't know until later in the week how close Verba, Tucker, Cody, Kennedy and Lewis will be to coming back.


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