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Allen Park — The Lions' offensive line could be back at full strength for the first time since the opener, if right tackle LaAdrian Waddle continues to improve.

Waddle, who suffered a calf injury against the Giants, is getting closer to a potential return for Sunday's matchup against the Bills after missing his third straight game. Waddle showed improvement last week and looked like he might play against the Jets on Sunday, but was held out as a precaution.

"Throughout that week, I gradually did more and more and when it came down to it, we just decided to wait another week, just to be on the safe side, and try to give it another go this week," Waddle said following Monday's practice. "We were close last week, so we'll go through this week and if everything goes good in practice, we'll be ready to go."

After consulting with the coaching and training staff, the decision was made to keep Waddle out, meaning that Garrett Reynolds and rookie Cornelius Lucas would continue rotating for another game.

"We all put our input to it and I agreed with the decision," Waddle said. "I'd rather wait another week than go out there and get hurt again and have to be on the sideline longer than I needed to be."

Backup Corey Hilliard suffered a season-ending Lisfranc injury in the opener, pushing the Lions to their third and fourth tackles while Waddle recovered. Reynolds, who started and played 75 percent of the snaps against the Jets, and Lucas held up against the Jets defensive line, one of the best in the league.

Waddle was limited in practice Wednesday last week and did a little more Thursday, leaving some optimism after Friday's practice that he would play, but he ended up on the inactive list just before the game.

He said he is feeling better this week than he did last week and is waiting to see how the rest of the week progresses in contact drills before a decision is made about his status for Sunday's game.

"I ran around today and felt good," he said. "I've been walking fine. It's just pushing off people and getting that jolt (that is an issue)."

Rod.Beard@detroitnews.com

Twitter.com/detnewsRodBeard

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