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Friday Notes: Culpepper to Start; Lions Sign Alexander, Release Ervin

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  • Daunte Culpepper will start for the Lions against Indianapolis tomorrow.  Culpepper will play for all of the first quarter and half of the second.  Matthew Stafford will come in after that and play until the end of the third quarter.  (Drew Stanton will get to play in the fourth quarter.)  The starters will be in the game for both Culpepper and Stafford, allowing the coaches to get a look at what each can do with the No. 1 offense.

    Jim Schwartz cautioned to not read into this very much, as someone has to go out there first.  He also made sure to mention that a starter probably won't be named until the week of the Saints game, and even then we probably won't hear who is getting the start until right before the game.  That way the Saints have to spend time preparing for both quarterbacks.
  • The Lions signed linebacker Rufus Alexander and released running back Allen Ervin on Thursday.  Alexander has previously played for the Vikings and Colts.  Ervin had played quite well in the first preseason game before suffering an injury the next week in practice.  He was not going to play on Saturday, and the Lions probably figured he wasn't going to make the team, so it's best to move on and give someone else a chance.
  • Starting cornerbacks Phillip Buchanon and Anthony Henry both will not play against the Colts.  Keith Smith will play in his first preseason game, but I think Peyton Manning is going to have a field day with our secondary.  He very well may have anyways, but with the starters out this probably will get ugly really quickly.
  • Dennis Northcutt has also been ruled out of tomorrow's game.
  • Kevin Smith and Ernie Sims are going to be game-time decisions tomorrow.
  • Brandon Pettigrew is going to play against Indianapolis.
  • Daniel Loper and Manny Ramirez are battling it out for the starting spot at left guard.
  • People were actually lined up at Ford Field's box office to buy Lions tickets when they went on sale Thursday morning.
  • With all of this talk about backup kickers lately, Jim Schwartz decided to show the team a clip of when offensive line coach George Yarno kicked an extra point back when he played for the Buccaneers.  He was actually the long snapper, but when the starting kicker got hurt, Yarno ended up coming in as the emergency backup and did quite well.

(More after the jump)

  • The Vikings' locker room reportedly is already divided on Brett Favre.
  • Roy Williams hurt his shoulder last night during a Cowboys practice and will likely miss the rest of the preseason.  There was a report from PFT that he broke his collarbone, but his X-rays came back negative.
  • The Broncos have suspended Brandon Marshall.
  • The Cowboys are not going to have to raise their giant scoreboard, as the NFL has simply created a do over rule, meaning that if a punt hits the scoreboard, the play will just be done again.  I realize it would cost $2 million to raise the scoreboard, but this rule is just stupid.  The Cowboys have spent over a billion dollars on the stadium already, so what's another $2 million?  Besides, they are the ones responsible for not testing this out in the first place, so they should be responsible for fixing the problem.  This rule will just cause problems, and I can't wait to see the outcry the first time a do over punt is blocked.