News and Notes

The Detroit Lions have signed five players to the practice squad, including linebackers Ken Philpott(EMU) and Josh Thornhill (MSU). The team also skipped on 49ers tailback Jamal Robertson in favor of a journeyman running back. Also, former Raiders MLB Biekert spurns Lions for Vikings.

One day after trimming the roster to the mandatory 53 players, the Detroit Lions added four of those released players -- including one recently signed free-agent -- to the five-player practice squad.

Former Michigan State linebacker Josh Thornhill, along with former Easter Michigan standout Ken Philpott were both added to the practice squad, along with safety Abdual Howard and guard Josh Lovelady.

Each player was among the final cuts on Sunday.

Detroit was likely unable to place running back James Mungro -- a surprise release and pre-season standout -- on the practice squad because the former Syracuse tailback was receiving looks from other teams.

In effort to add a running back to the squad, Detroit picked up NFL journeyman running back Rafael Cooper. As mentioned exclusively on last week, Detroit took a hard look at 49ers running back Jamal Robertson according to the San Francisco Chronicle, but ultimately opted for Cooper.

The Lions public chase for former Raiders' MLB Greg Biekert failed. The Minnesota Vikings agreed to terms with Biekert Monday afternoon, offering a backloaded deal with a $1 million signing bonus. Detroit offered a larger 2002 base salary, but Biekert opted for Minnesota and Vikings' defensive coordinator -- and colleague -- Willie Shaw.

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