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Thursday Notes: Culpepper Will Likely Start on Sunday

  • The odds of Daunte Culpepper starting against Jacksonville on Sunday are very, very good right now.  Culpepper reportedly took the majority of the snaps with the starters in practice on Wednesday, and Dan Orlovsky's injury seems to be more serious than was originally reported.  Orlovsky is planning on visiting a hand specialist in New York today, leading me to believe that he may end up on the injured reserve pretty soon.  There is no way he will play on Sunday since he won't even be able to practice this week, so all signs point to Culpepper.
  • Dominic Raiola has started 104 games in a row.  That is a very impressive streak for anyone, let alone an offensive lineman.  Unfortunately, that streak is likely going to come to an end on Sunday.  Raiola has a cast on his fractured right thumb and is expected to miss a few weeks.  Raiola wants to play and simply snap with his left hand, but I highly doubt the coaches would let him do that.
  • According to Pro Football Talk, Daunte Culpepper's base salary for this year will be $343,529, which is prorated since he joined the Lions in the 10th week of the season.  Culpepper will also get a $40,000 signing bonus and can make an additional $1 million "if he participates in five percent of the snaps and if he or the team improves in one of various performance categories."  Next March Culpepper will receive a $2.5 million roster bonus if he is still on the team and is scheduled to make a base salary of $2.5 million. 

    Culpepper represents himself (is his own agent) and did a great job of negotiating this deal.  The $1 million incentive is pretty surprising since it sounds so easily attainable, but I guess that is the Lions for you.
  • The Lions released defensive back Travis Key from the practice squad and re-signed safety LaMarcus Hicks to fill the open spot.  Hicks was released on Monday to make room on the roster for Daunte Culpepper, and if Dan Orlovsky were to go on the IR, chances are Hicks would be promoted back to the active roster.
  • For anyone in a fantasy football league, don't forget that there is a game tonight.  The Browns and Broncos play at 8:15 p.m. ET on the NFL Network, so make sure to adjust your lineups before then.