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Lions' Matt Russell Out For Season

Detroit Lions reserve linebacker Matt Russell tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during Friday night's opening kickoff and is likely lost for the season.

Coach Bobby Ross said Sunday the plan is for Russell to rehabilitate the injured knee for two weeks,

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  • in part to reduce the swelling, before surgery is attempted.

    Ross said the Lions are contemplating putting Russell on the injured reserve list, which would mean his season is over.

    "I think Matt thinks he can still play," Ross said. "He's a tough guy, and it's been done before. But we want to be very careful, though. (Trainer) Kent (Falb) said that if (Russell) were 35 years old and this was his last season, maybe that (playing with the injury) would be something that could be done. But I highly doubt that's what we'll do."

    The 25-year-old Russell, a fourth-round draft pick in 1997, spent last season as the primary backup to starting middle linebacker Stephen Boyd.

    Russell's injury leaves the Lions thin at middle linebacker. The only other middle linebacker on the roster is Kevin O'Neill, an undrafted rookie free agent from Bowling Green. Allen Aldridge, signed as an unrestricted free agent from Denver, played middle linebacker for the Super Bowl champions last season, but has moved to outside linebacker with Detroit.

    "We've got a plan or two in mind, but I wanted to be able to talk to those people before I said anything about it," Ross said.

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