Lions mum on QB situation; Kitna expects to return this season

Updated: October 13, 2008, 5:04 PM ET
Associated Press

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Detroit Lions nearly won a football game Sunday. On Monday, things seemed to be slipping back into a state of confusion.

The quarterback situation apparently was frozen by a missing trainer, and the team's star wide receiver was trying to stop endless trade rumors.

Citing the absence of trainer Dean Kleinschmidt, Lions coach Rod Marinelli refused to comment on quarterback Jon Kitna's injured back or his spot in the starting lineup when healthy. Kitna did not travel to Minnesota for Sunday's 12-10 loss to the Vikings, the first game he had not started since joining the Lions before the 2006 season.

"We'll have information about the injury for you on Wednesday," Marinelli said. "I'm not going to discuss that until we have a chance to meet with the trainers, coaches and doctors. As for the starting lineup, I won't talk about that until Sunday."

Marinelli's reticence was unusual because Kitna's injury happened in the Oct. 5 loss to Chicago, and Kitna had tests run on his back in the middle of last week.

"I'm not going to give out partial information," Marinelli said. "I've done that in the past, and it has ended up with incorrect information being printed."

While Marinelli was unwilling to discuss Kitna's status, including the possibility of him going onto injured reserve, Kitna told The Associated Press his injury wasn't that serious.

"I'll eventually be able to play," Kitna said Monday. "I don't know if it will be this week."

Because Kleinschmidt stayed overnight in Minnesota with safety Gerald Alexander, who sustained a neck injury late in the game, Marinelli also gave no injury updates for Alexander or receiver Calvin Johnson, who missed a substantial portion of the Vikings game with an eye problem.

Marinelli also wouldn't comment on the possibility of the Lions trading Kitna before Tuesday's deadline. Interim general manager Martin Mayhew said he has initiated discussions with other teams, although he wouldn't identify individual players.

"I've called a few teams about a handful of players, and we've received a few exploratory calls," he said. "But we don't want to do anything that will send a message to the team that the season is over, because we don't believe that. There are teams that have overcome 0-5 starts to have good seasons, and that's still our goal."

Mayhew did stress that, despite media reports, wide receiver Roy Williams is not on the block.

"I've told Roy that we aren't shopping him, and Roy has told me that he wants to be here," he said. "We don't think it would better for our players or our team to make that kind of move."

Williams bristled when asked if he still expected to be a Lion after the deadline.

"I've told you every week that I'm going to be here, and I don't know why everyone keeps asking me that same stupid question," he said. "I guess you won't have to ask it after Tuesday."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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