Notebook: Orlovsky Hurt, Culpepper Signs

When the Lions try to earn their first victory this season Sunday against Jacksonville, whom will they start at quarterback?

When the Lions try to earn their first victory this season Sunday against Jacksonville, whom will they start at quarterback?

Daunte Culpepper, the free agent who arrived Monday and signed his two-year contract on Tuesday?

Dan Orlovsky, who suffered a sprained thumb on his throwing hand Sunday at Chicago?

Drew Stanton, whom offensive coordinator Jim Colletto said last week he didn't want to "embarrass" by throwing him in there right now?

Who knows?

"I'm not sure right now," coach Rod Marinelli said Monday at his weekly news conference.

It depends on how quickly Culpepper can get ready and how bad Orlovsky's injury is.

Culpepper was completing a physical Monday. The Lions announced his signing on Tuesday.

The coaches are optimistic Culpepper will be able to pick up the offense quickly. He is familiar with the digit system and protection calls the Lions use.

"When you're a veteran, the system - the numbering systems - there is carryover," Marinelli said. "Sometimes it's just a word and verbiage. We said it this way; now we say it this way. And we'll find out."

Asked if Culpepper could be ready in a week, offensive coordinator Jim Colletto said: "We'll see."

Fox Sports reported Orlovsky will miss the next few weeks and perhaps even longer. Stanton recently missed about a month with a sprained thumb.

But Orlovsky said he was only day to day.

Orlovsky suffered the injury on his first play Sunday and stayed in the game. He asked the trainer for a pain pill at halftime.

"It was between him and I for that moment," Orlovsky said. "There was pain. I don't think it affected me."

Orlovsky was in a hard cast Monday, but it was a removable hard cast. He called it a precaution. He said he planned to remove the cast and try to throw Wednesday, and he hoped he could practice and play Sunday against Jacksonville.

To get a sense of Orlovsky's expectations for Sunday, consider his responses to questions about the future. He is coming off the best game of his NFL career, but the Lions are bringing in Culpepper and his contract expires after this season.

Would he like to see how far he can go?

"Absolutely," he said.

How far does he think he can go?

"I think I could be really good," he said. "I think I could be a really consistent, top-notch starter in this league."

Does he think that will happen in Detroit?

"I don't know," he said. "I'm excited about Jacksonville."

Individual Player Notes:

  • C Dominic Raiola suffered a right hand injury Sunday at Chicago and was headed to a hand specialist Monday. Coach Rod Marinelli declined to say if it was a fracture.
  • QB Dan Orlovsky suffered a sprained thumb Sunday, though Marinelli did not rule out a fracture. Orlovsky was headed for more tests Monday.
  • DT Cory Redding had swelling in one of his knees after Sunday's game and was headed for more tests Monday. His status is uncertain.
  • OL Andy McCollum could be the Lions' center if Raiola cannot play. But McCollum was inactive Sunday because of a finger injury.
  • OL Damion Cook could be the Lions' center if Raiola and McCollum cannot play. Cook was the backup center and guard Sunday. He started the previous two games at left guard.

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