Lions also lose Bly for two games

Updated: September 14, 2004, 6:00 PM ET
Associated Press

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- A broken collarbone has ruined another season for Detroit Lions wide receiver Charles Rogers.

Charles Rogers
Rogers

The No. 2 pick in the 2003 draft, was injured going for a pass Sunday in the first quarter of the 20-16 victory over the Chicago Bears. X-rays revealed a fracture near the one he suffered last year during a bye week practice. Rogers played only the first five games of his rookie season before the injury, catching 22 passes.

The No. 2 pick in the 2003 draft, was injured going for a pass Sunday in the first quarter of the 20-16 victory over the Chicago Bears. X-rays revealed a fracture near the one he suffered last year during a bye week practice. Rogers played only the first five games of his rookie season before the injury, catching 22 passes.

Rogers will have surgery later this week or early next week, coach Steve Mariucci said Monday.

"I just spoke with Charles, and he's very disappointed," Mariucci said. "I told him that's he not to blame. He's 23 and he's got a lot of football ahead of him."

Rogers was placed on injured reserve Tuesday; the Lions also placed running back Paul Smith on injured reserve and signed wide receiver David Kircus and cornerback Vernon Fox. Kircus was signed from the practice squad; Fox, a free agent, was released Aug. 31 by San Diego.

Tai Streets will replace Rogers in the starting lineup.

"We've got to play with what we have," Mariucci said. "That's why we signed Tai and why we drafted Roy Williams. We'd love to have Charles out there, but it just isn't in the cards for this year."

The Lions also lost Pro Bowl cornerback Dre' Bly to a knee injury, but in this case, the news was better.

"Dre' has a Grade II medial-collateral ligament sprain _ that means it is somewhere between a bruise and a tear," Mariucci said. "He's probably going to miss a couple games and come back after the bye."

The status of starting defensive lineman James Hall, who fractured his left thumb Sunday, was unknown.

More positive was the end of an NFL-record 24-game road losing streak. Detroit hadn't won on the road since beating the Jets on Dec. 17, 2000.

"It's a good feeling; this win was so important to our football team," Mariucci said. "A lot of things went on in that game, and we fought through all of it. This was a gut check and a character check."

Those are checks Mariucci doesn't think his team would have passed in 2003.

"We probably would have lost this game a year ago," he said. "We got some guys hurt early on, and we could have gone in the tank. But the offense made a late drive and the defense made a late stop. That shows that this team is ready to take a step forward."


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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