Garcia Named Starter

The Lions soap opera took another turn Wednesday as the team announced that veteran Jeff Garcia would be the starter Sunday vs. the Vikings.

With all the turmoil surrounding the firing of Steve Mariucci, one of the excuses given was that he didn't get through to the younger players and that, by making a switch, more younger players would have the opportunity to play.

So what was the first official move made by new coach Dick Jauron? To announce that crusted veteran Jeff Garcia will get the start Sunday over Joey Harrington.

A day after calling CB Dre Bly to the carpet for going public in blaming Mariucci's firing on the poor play of Harrington, Jauron seemed to support the assumption that Harrington was to blame.

The Lions might be a revitalized team after the changes that have been made. But from this angle they look like a mess and a QB change isn't likely to help that -- long-term or short-term.

* Troy Williamson is expected to play Sunday, but if he does, the Vikings may have to sit another wide receiver or go into the game with just seven offensive linemen on the active roster.
* With Kevin Williams down, the plan is for the Vikings to activate DE Eric Taylor from the practice squad. If that happens, it's likely that guard Toniu Fonoti, who has played just part of one game since being traded for, will be placed on injured reserve -- ending his 2005 season.
* Fred Smoot is expected back for the Dec. 11 game vs. the Rams.
* Kevin Williams is expected to return for the Dec. 18 game vs. the Steelers.

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