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Tahir Whitehead downgraded to out vs. Saints

The Lions will be without their starting middle linebacker on Sunday.

Detroit Lions v Houston Texans Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

The Lions are already in a tight spot with their linebackers, and with the likelihood of DeAndre Levy not playing Sunday fairly high, another loss to that unit could spell dire trouble against a potent Saints offense. Unfortunately, that scenario is starting to take shape: middle linebacker Tahir Whitehead did not travel to New Orleans with the team. The Lions officially ruled him out on Saturday:

Whitehead had been limited in practice all week with a knee injury, and his loss for Sunday’s matchup against the Saints was always on the table. Josh Bynes, re-signed by the team at the end of October, will probably take his starting role for Sunday. He’ll be tasked with helping to hold down a defense that is ranked 31st in the league in defensive DVOA.

Meanwhile, on the offensive side of the ball, the possibility that the Lions could also be without wide receiver Marvin Jones after a series of transactions took place on Saturday, including the signing of WR TJ Jones off of the practice squad, might too become a reality.