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NFL Schedule For The Next 2 Weeks

As training camp starts to wind down and the end of the preseason nears, there will be a lot going on in the NFL. Rosters are set to drastically shrink in the coming weeks, and before you know it the regular season will be here.

For Detroit Lions fans, these are the key dates over the next two weeks to mark down on your calendar:

Saturday, Aug. 27: The Lions will take on the New England Patriots at 8 p.m. on CBS. Starters are expected to get extended playing time in what will be considered a dress rehearsal for the regular season.

Tuesday, Aug. 30: Teams are required to be down to 80 players on their roster by 4 p.m. (ET). Usually the first round of roster cuts requires teams to have a maximum of only 75 players, but the NFL made it 80 this year since there are currently 90 players on rosters.

Thursday, Sept. 1: The Lions will kick off their preseason finale at the Buffalo Bills at 6:30 p.m. (ET). Starters will play either very little or not at all since this game is more for the backups fighting to make a spot on the team.

Saturday, Sept. 3: The final round of NFL roster cuts will commence. Teams have to get down to 53 players on this day, so expect to start hearing about cuts as early as Friday, Sept. 2. Cuts will really start to leak out on Sept. 3 and will be made official by the Lions in a press release sent out that night.

Once all of this activity dies down and is in the rear-view mirror, all sights will be set on Sunday, Sept. 11, the day when the Lions kick off the 2011 regular season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.