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Allen Park — Lions fullback Jed Collins knows he won't have many opportunities to score touchdowns this year, so when he rumbled into the end zone last Sunday, he made it count.

After breaking a tackle attempt by Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly, Collins scored on a 1-yard reception in the third quarter of the Lions' 24-7 loss. To celebrate, Collins cradled the ball as he does his 5-month-old daughter, Palmer Grey Collins.

"I'd like her to know that dad played this and did it for her one day," Collins said. "This may be the last time I get in."

The score was the eighth of Collins' NFL career, which began as an undrafted free agent in 2008. Playing for the New Orleans Saints from 2011-13, Collins had run-ins before with Kuechly, the AP's Defensive Player of the Year last season.

"Luke is obviously a great player, and him and I have had some experiences through the years, so it was fun," Collins said. "It was great in the moment because it gave us the lead, but at the end of the game, it just goes down as another play. You only celebrate the wins."

Collins' score was the first receiving touchdown by a Lions fullback since Corey Schlesinger had one on Jan. 1, 2006.

"It was pretty cool, and a lot of people were reminded that I'm still playing, which is fun," Collins said.

Thus far, Jim Caldwell said the 252-pound Collins has helped the Lions with his lead blocking and showed Sunday that he can be a threat in the passing game, too.

And even though Collins is helping prove that fullbacks still have a role in the NFL, for him, family remains the top priority.

"I knew if I got in this year I wanted to do something for (my daughter)," he said. "One of the large reasons we play is to set up your family to have a good life."

jkatzenstein@detroitnews.com

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