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One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.


Hanson healing

Jason Hanson kicked a few field goals each of the last two days in practice and should be back for this weekend's third preseason game against Cleveland. Hanson pulled his left hip flexor booting a 50-yard field goal in the exhibition opener and sat out Sunday's win over Cincinnati. He said he thought he was headed for a multi-week absence when the injury first happened.

"It wasn't just an oh-that's-sore, it definitely pulled and I was like, 'Oh no,'" Hanson said. "But I've been getting good care and taking care of it so that's what'll happen. I kicked some field goals and that's a good step, but I need to make sure."

Hanson said he hasn't attempted any kickoffs yet and probably will leave those duties to Dave Rayner against the Browns.

A few other quick notes from today:

• Receivers Devale Ellis and Brandon Middleton were back practicing Wednesday in their bid for the fifth receiver spot. Tight end Dan Campbell did some light running, but he's still bothered by his hamstring. Lions coach Rod Marinelli said Campbell will not play Saturday, but receiver Shaun McDonald and safety Daniel Bullocks should get 15 to 20 snaps each. For Bullocks, it'll be his first live action since tearing his ACL in the third preseason game last year. "They need the work, too," Marinelli said.

• I'll have a longer breakdown on some of the position battles yet to be decided, probably next week, but there appear to be spots up in the air at linebacker, defensive back, offensive line, receiver, running back and on the defensive line. Marinelli wouldn't rule out keeping four running backs Tuesday, which may be possible if the Lions decide against keeping a fifth receiver. As I told you yesterday, Kevin Smith is No. 1 on the depth chart, Aveion Cason has a job wrapped up, and Tatum Bell and Artose Pinner are both deserving of spots. "What I don't want to do is keep a guy for a depth number when maybe there's a better player at another position at the very end," Marinelli said. "I'm looking to get the best 53 players. Maybe not the most talented, but the best guys to help us win. ... It might be a guy who can really do something special in special teams."

• Don't read anything in Bell not playing on special teams. As a rule, Marinelli said he prefers to keep his top two backs out of the special-teams mix. Both Pinner and Cason can have significant roles on special teams.

• Great quote from Smith today on receiver Calvin Johnson. This will appear in a story sometime before the season, but I had to share. "He's like Jordan," Smith said. "He can fly." There's so many layers to those six words, and they're all true.

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