Lions place P Jett on IR, may get back DT Elliss

Updated: October 29, 2003, 6:12 PM ET

ALLEN PARK, Michigan - Detroit Lions defensive tackle Luther Elliss returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since injuring a pectoral muscle while working out in the offseason.

The struggling Lions have three weeks to decide whether to move Elliss from the non-football injury list to the 53-man roster or place him on injured reserve.

"As to when we will activate him, that is up in the air," coach Steve Mariucci said. "It's not going to happen this week."

The 30-year-old Elliss has spent his entire nine-year career with the Lions. Last season, he had 42 tackles and 2 1/2 sacks in 14 games. Like Mariucci, the two-time Pro Bowler is not sure when he will play.

"That's up to them. I know that today starts the clock for three weeks, then they can decide if they're going to activate me or not," Elliss said. "We have injuries in other areas that we need to address. Right now, we have eight healthy defensive lineman, so I've just got to be patient."

Punter John Jett will miss the rest of the season after the Lions placed him on injured reserve Wednesday with a strained right calf. He suffered the injury in practice October 3, and the team signed punter Nick Harris two weeks later.

"We needed the roster spot to get another corner on the team," Mariucci explained. "He is still in a boot and on crutches and it has been a couple of weeks, so he's making very slow progress."

Detroit signed cornerback Jacoby Shepard, a former second-round pick who spent the first four games of the season with the New York Jets.

The Lions have lost six straight since a season-opening victory over Arizona. Sunday's 24-16 defeat at Chicago was their 20th consecutive road loss.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index