The Lions are 0-8, the last winless team in the NFL. But things are looking up a little bit.
They have been competitive in their past four games, at least, leading at the half in three of their past four. They have agreed to a contract with free-agent quarterback Daunte Culpepper.
And Sunday they face Jacksonville, which looks vulnerable after just losing to previously winless Cincinnati.
The biggest news is Culpepper.
Coach Rod Marinelli announced after Sunday's 27-23 loss at Chicago that the Lions agreed to a contract with Culpepper, pending the completion of a physical. He declined to comment further, however.
"We've still got to work out those final details, and I'll leave it at that," Marinelli said.
Culpepper is expected to sign a two-year deal -- or a one-year deal for a prorated veteran's minimum salary, with a team option for a second year in the $7 million range.
That would give the Lions a chance to see if Culpepper could be their quarterback next year, but also the flexibility to go in another direction if things don't work out for whatever reason.
Chief operating officer Tom Lewand declined to comment.
How quickly could Culpepper play?
"Well, I don't know," offensive coordinator Jim Colletto said. "We'll visit with him on Monday and see how fast we can get him ready. That's all I can tell you."
Marinelli declined to comment on whether Dan Orlovsky would start against Jacksonville. Orlovsky said his mindset would not change. Asked if he felt he had done enough to start the rest of the year, he said: "That'll be the decision that they make."
Culpepper is expected to bump Orlovsky to backup and Drew Stanton to No. 3 eventually. Drew Henson is expected to be placed on waivers and, if he clears, signed to the practice squad.
Culpepper, 31, might see a chance to win a starting job and recapture the glory he once had throwing to Randy Moss with Minnesota. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson has been compared to Moss, but he had little to say about Culpepper.
"I don't really know that situation," Johnson said. "I don't know what's going on."
LINEUP WATCH: Edwin Mulitalo reclaimed the starting left guard job. The main reason? Damion Cook became the backup guard and center, with Andy McCollum (finger) inactive. "We had a couple weeks to rest the big guy too, and he was pretty fresh this week," coach Rod Marinelli said.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Nothing's been relayed to me as far as what's going on, what his role is going to be, if he's going to step in and be the starter or second string or third string. I assume they're bringing him in for a reason. ... I guess we'll find out more tomorrow and hopefully have a better understanding of what's going on, not only for next week but hopefully for the reason of the season and my future here in Detroit." -- QB Drew Stanton, after the Lions agreed to a contract with free-agent QB Daunte Culpepper Sunday.
- S Dwight Smith did not play Sunday at Chicago because of a mid-foot sprain. He has missed two games, but he could be back this Sunday against Jacksonville.
- FB Jerome Felton did not play Sunday because of a high ankle sprain and is week to week.
- LB Jordon Dizon did not play Sunday because of a hamstring injury. He has missed two games, and his status is uncertain.
- FB Casey Fitzsimmons did not play Sunday because of a rib injury. He had hoped to protect his ribs and play, but the Lions decided not to use him after a pregame workout.
- DT Landon Cohen, a seventh-round pick this year, still has not been active for a game.