Lions notebook: Kitna the "miracle" man

Jon Kitna can't believe he was able to come back from a concussion Sunday in the Lions' 20-17 overtime victory against Minnesota. He called it a "miracle." Also, a complete report card from Sunday's win over the Vikings.

Jon Kitna can't believe he was able to come back from a concussion Sunday in the Lions' 20-17 overtime victory against Minnesota.

"It was a miracle," Kitna said. "I should not have played in the rest of the game. Yet, my head cleared up, and it went to a point where there was nothing. So it's almost as if it didn't happen."

Kitna left the game early in the second quarter. Coach Rod Marinelli said the medical staff called it a "very mild concussion." Kitna, who said he had three concussions in the past, said: "That was the worst my head's ever felt and the worst my memory was in the second quarter."

But Kitna said his symptoms cleared up by halftime, and the medical staff cleared him to return in the fourth quarter.

"They did everything they're supposed to do and really stayed on it even longer," Marinelli said. "Jon wanted to come back. They held him down until they were convinced and they felt good about it."

The medical staff examined Kitna again Monday morning, and Kitna said he had no symptoms.

"You guys will probably snicker and laugh and have a good time with this, but it's a miracle," Kitna said. "That's really what it is. You can call it whatever it is, whatever the official diagnosis of it, whatever it was. But I've never felt anything like that, and then for it to clear up and go right back to as normal as I can be, is nothing short of a miracle in my life. I just definitely feel the hand of God."

PLAYER PERSONNEL NOTES

  • TE Dan Campbell had an MRI on his injured elbow and the Lions are waiting for the results.
  • TE Sean McHugh picked up the slack for Campbell. He has 72 yards receiving through two games.
  • DT Cory Redding is playing through groin and elbow problems, but he had five tackles and a quarterback hurry Sunday.
  • K Jason Hanson could kick himself for missing a 48-yard field-goal attempt with 45 seconds left Sunday, but he nailed a 37-yarder to win it in overtime.
  • RB Brian Calhoun opened some eyes with his 17-yard run in overtime that set up the winning field goal. He looks like the Lions' two-minute back instead of Tatum Bell.

    REPORT CARD

    PASSING OFFENSE: B -- Kitna proved he is the Lions' most valuable player. Before he left the game, he made a couple of bad mistakes -- an interception in the end zone, a fumble that put the Lions out of field-goal range -- but he was throwing the ball all over the place. The Lions were up and down while he was out. When he came back, the whole team was energized.

    RUSHING OFFENSE: D -- What rushing offense? The Lions haven't run the ball well, and they didn't run it well against the Vikings, who had the NFL's top rushing defense last year. The Lions have to get creative, as they did when they ran end-arounds with Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson.

    PASS DEFENSE: A-minus -- OK, Tarvaris Jackson ain't Peyton Manning. But four interceptions are four interceptions, and you have to give the Lions' much-maligned pass defense credit for that. The Lions put pressure on Jackson, but they have to finish and get more sacks.

    RUSH DEFENSE: B -- Adrian Peterson looked great. But then you looked at the stat sheet and saw that he averaged only 3.3 yards per carry. The Vikings averaged only 3.7 yards per carry as a team, even though Mewelde Moore gashed the Lions on a couple of draws and finished with 50 yards on six carries.

    SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- Jason Hanson hit a 37-yard field goal to win it in overtime, but only after missing a 48-yarder that might have won it with 45 seconds left in regulation. The kickoff coverage unit allowed a couple of big returns. Punter Nick Harris dropped two punts inside the 20.


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