Lions Notebook: Kitna still wants 10

Entering the season, quarterback Jon Kitna said the Lions would win 10 games or more. Now he says the Lions must win 10 games. Much more inside, including: Lions add depth to the right tackle position.

Entering the season, quarterback Jon Kitna said the Lions would win 10 games or more. Now he says the Lions must win 10 games.

"We've got to get to 10," Kitna said after the Lions' 37-26 Thanksgiving Day loss to Green Bay. "That's what gets you in. In the NFC, it's going to get you in. We've got to get to 10. We've got five games left."

It's going to be pretty tough. The Lions must go 4-1 down the stretch to win 10 games, now that they have lost three games in a row and sunk to 6-5. And this is their schedule: at Minnesota, Dallas, at San Diego, Kansas City, at Green Bay.

Kitna said the Lions still control whether they make the playoffs. But in reality, they don't. They could win out and still sit out in January.

They have almost no chance to catch the 10-1 Packers in the NFC North. Each of their competitors in the wild-card race -- the New York Giants (7-3), plus Arizona, Philadelphia and Washington (all 5-5) -- also have beaten them and hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.

"We're still in a good position," Kitna said. "We're right where we need to be. It's not where we want to be, but where we need to be. We've got five games left, and we've got a lot of character in this locker room."

They're going to need a lot of character. This franchise hasn't been to the playoffs since 1999, and the mood around Detroit is already one of despair.

"You just need to grit your teeth, look at your teammates and say, 'Hey, let's not give up, let's not pack in the tents and just call it a season and quit,' " defensive tackle Cory Redding said. "We can't dwell on this, be all sad and down."

Coach Rod Marinelli keeps preaching the same message.

"We've just got to get right back to it," Marinelli said. "I'm never going to change -- ever. I think you know me well enough. There's no panic in my life. I just don't live that way.

"I do look forward to the challenge that's ahead of us. It's a tough challenge. I've been down this road many a times. I just believe in the players. I believe in work habits. I believe in work."

Notebook:

  • The Lions signed offensive lineman Barry Stokes Monday. They cut him before the season, but they need him now because of their trouble at right tackle. George Foster has struggled so badly that he was left out of uniform Thursday against Green Bay. His replacement, Jonathan Scott, suffered a hamstring injury against the Packers and was placed on injured reserve Monday. Blaine Saipaia, who is listed as a guard, struggled in relief of Foster and Scott, facing two of the NFL's premier pass rushers, the Giants' Michael Strahan and the Packers' Aaron Kampman.
  • Running back Kevin Jones wasn't sure how well he would play against Green Bay. He has been managing a sore left foot all season. He usually doesn't go through a full practice on Thursdays, let alone a full game. But Jones finished with 20 carries for 93 yards and a touchdown, his second-best numbers of the season. He had 23 carries for 105 yards and a touchdown Oct. 28 at Chicago. Jones also caught two passes for 27 yards.

    "I was a little shaky coming in," Jones said. "I thought I wasn't able to do what I wanted to do. But game time came, adrenaline was working, and I just went with it. I just tried to tough it out, and it worked out for me."

    Individual Player Notes

  • RT Damien Woody is slated to start Sunday at Minnesota, playing right tackle for the first time since high school. Woody has played center and guard in the NFL.
  • RT Jonathan Scott was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.
  • OL Barry Stokes was brought back. Stokes started 11 games for the Lions last year and was cut Sept. 1.
  • QB Jon Kitna did not practice Monday because of a sore knee but is expected to practice Wednesday.
  • DL Victor Degrate was signed to the practice squad.
  • RT George Foster was inactive against Green Bay after being benched for the fourth time this season Sunday against the New York Giants.
  • DT Shaun Cody, a second-round pick in 2005, was inactive for the first time in his career for non-injury reasons. Marinelli said he chose to activate Langston Moore over Cody.
  • DE Dewayne White returned against the Packers after missing two games with a triceps injury. He started on the right end over Kalimba Edwards, while Jared DeVries started at left end.

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