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Four Lions Starters Miss Practice; Louis Delmas Returns

The Lions got some good news today with Louis Delmas returning to practice as expected, but unfortunately he was the only starter to give it a go after missing practice on Wednesday. Matthew Stafford, Jahvid Best, Nate Burleson and DeAndre Levy all missed practice for the second consecutive day.

If the Lions are without Best, then Kevin Smith seems like a lock to play on Sunday. Detroit is down on depth at running back as it is with Aaron Brown also banged up, so I'd imagine Smith is practicing with the mindset that he is going to play. Heck, even if Best is able to gut it out, you don't want to risk not having someone like Smith ready to go in case Best has to leave the game or something, so I would be pretty surprised if he doesn't make his 2010 debut this week.

If Nate Burleson and DeAndre Levy are both unable to go, the Lions will utilize the same plans as previous weeks to fill in for them. Burleson was replaced by Bryant Johnson in the starting lineup last week, and Derrick Williams also got more of a chance to get time at receiver, making a nice catch in the process. With Levy, I'd expect Landon Johnson to be ready to go as his potential replacement. He missed last week's game, but it appears he will play on Sunday, regardless of whether or not Levy can as well.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.