Lions looking to shut down the Jets

Practice this week was focused on three particular parts of the Jets offense, QB Geno Smith, TE Jeff Cumberland and WR Jeremy Kerley.    Smith, well because, he is an effective quarterback, Cumberland because of the injury to WR Eric Decker and Kerley because he leads in balls thrown to him (24) and receptions (15 for 141 yards)

“I’m definitely a lot more comfortable with Jeremy than I was last year, because we had an off-season together, we’ve had a bunch of time to bond for me to really get to know him and vice versa,” Smith said. “We’re still building, we’re still building on our chemistry, we’re still getting better, but as of right now, it’s definitely been a positive sign that he’s been getting the ball and really sparking our offense.

The Lions will be visiting the Jets  this Sunday with kickoff at Noon.  Plenty of great seats and cheap tickets are still available so be sure to get yours now!

Chris Houston, Kevin Smith, Nick Fairley back in action for Lions

Allen Park — Slowly but surely, the wounded are walking back on to the playing field for the Lions.

Back at practice Wednesday were cornerback Chris Houston, who missed two games with a knee injury; running back Kevin Smith, who has been battling an ankle sprain; and defensive tackle Nick Fairley, who missed last Sunday with a foot injury.

Houston and Fairley went through the individual drills, but it is unknown whether they were full participants the rest of the way. Smith, who appeared to be moving well, worked on the side with a trainer during position drills.

Still not on the practice field were safety Louis Delmas, out the last two weeks with a knee injury; defensive end Lawrence Jackson, out the last four weeks with a thigh injury; outside linebacker Justin Durant, who has a hamstring injury; cornerback Eric Wright, who injured a hamstring Sunday; and cornerback Aaron Berry, who injured his shoulder last Sunday.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz reiterated Monday that none of those players were facing season-ending injuries.

“They’re all going to get back, it’s just a question of when,” he said. “It’s still too early to tell for this week.”

Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch took his normal Wednesday rest day.

MSU’s Dave Rayner takes aim at winning Lions’ kicking job


Tim Twentyman/ The Detroit News

Beverly Hills — The Lions tendered an original-round (sixth) contract to kicker Dave Rayner before the lockout.

Rayner made 13 of his 16 field-goal attempts last year in place of the injured Jason Hanson.

The contract offer is an insurance policy for the Lions in case Hanson can’t shake his injury woes of the last two seasons.

Hanson, one of the most accurate and consistent kickers in NFL history, has had two knee surgeries the last two seasons. He missed the final eight games last year and there’s no telling how his 40-year-old body will bounce back from his latest surgery.

But Rayner, who is from Michigan State, isn’t interested in keeping a starting spot warm or being an insurance policy for Hanson. Rayner is heading to camp with plans to win the job outright.

“I definitely have the utmost respect for Jason,” he said after a team workout at Detroit Country Day on Thursday. “But at the same time, I’m brought here for a reason and I’m going to try to win the job and see what happens from there.

“I did a nice job at the end of the year. I did enough to impress the coaches and management. With Jason getting hurt and getting up there in age, and some speculation whether he’ll be able to come back, I think they maybe are thinking long-term. I hope they’re looking long-term.”

As much as Hanson has meant to the Lions organization — he’s the team’s all-time leading scorer and longest-tenured player — he can’t play forever.

Rayner was a sixth-round pick by the Colts in 2005; the Lions are Rayner’s sixth NFL team. After the Colts, Rayner played for the Packers, Chargers, Chiefs and Bengals and was out of football in 2009 before joining the Lions.

“Hopefully, I’m the next guy,” Rayner said. “I don’t think I can try and fill (Hanson’s) shoes. I think that’s where guys get in trouble. I’m going to go in and try to do what I can do and hopefully be successful at my game. If I can have half the career he’s had, I’ll be happy.”