|Lions RB Jones to miss final game with knee injury|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 24 December 2007 09:09|
Tests revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Jones' right knee. He was injured late in the first half of Sunday's 25-20 victory over Kansas City after being tackled on a short reception.
Coach Rod Marinelli said Monday the team's medical staff will wait until swelling goes down in the knee to determine the best remedy. He wasn't sure of the extent of the tear or whether it will need surgery.
Marinelli said he hopes to have Jones back when training camp begins in late July.
The former Virginia Tech standout has missed 10 games due to injuries since Detroit selected him in the first round of the 2004 draft.
Jones, who leads the Lions with 581 yards and eight touchdowns on 153 carries, broke a bone in his right foot late last season and spent all of training camp on the physically unable to perform list after offseason surgery to repair the fracture. He was activated for Detroit's third regular-season game.
``It's been tough,'' Marinelli said. ``He's been a warrior all year.''
Ankle, elbow and shoulder injuries dogged Jones during his first two seasons with the team.
T.J. Duckett, who rushed for a season-best 102 yards against Kansas City, should get the bulk of the carries Sunday when Detroit ends the regular season at Green Bay. Marinelli said the Lions also will use Aveion Cason and Tatum Bell.
Starting right tackle Damien Woody sprained his right shoulder against the Chiefs, but Marinelli said Woody could be ready to play the Packers if he develops enough strength to push off with the shoulder.
Patrick Kerney has a chance to finish as the NFL's leader in sacks, and to do it against his former team.
Kerney is on the cusp of doing that for the first time entering Sunday's game between NFC West champion Seattle (10-5) and the now-flopping Falcons (3-12).
``It'd be great to put in a good performance there. Those fans in Atlanta supported me for eight years, and I still have a lot of friends there,'' said Kerney, who has a career-high 14 1/2 sacks.
But will he even get the chance to maintain his half-sack lead on Mario Williams of Houston and one-sack edge on Jared Allen of Kansas City?
Will the defense that Kerney's arrival helped vastly improve set a team record for fewest points allowed in a full season, bettering the 261 yielded in 1991, by holding Atlanta to 13 or fewer points?
Will Matt Hasselbeck get a chance to break his Seattle record for yards passing? He's 22 away from the 3,841 he had in 2003.
The Seahawks have clinched the No. 3 seed in the NFC. That means nothing they do in Atlanta will change their first-round home date against the NFC's final wild-card entrant Jan. 5 or 6, with a potential second-round game at second-seeded Green Bay.
Coach Mike Holmgren prefers to play his starters through the end of the season to carry continuity and sharpness into the postseason. But he admits to being conflicted.
``We haven't made any decisions yet about how we're going to play the game,'' Holmgren said before huddling with his coaches Monday. The debate of whether to play or preserve the veterans is so deep, Holmgren will be reconvening the coaching staff late on Christmas morning through midday to set a plan. The players, meanwhile, get the holiday off.
``My inclination right now is that we're going to keep playing and hopefully keep our momentum up a little bit,'' Holmgren said.