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Lions await word on Riley Reiff's knee injury

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Allen Park — The Lions are still waiting for a prognosis on left tackle Riley Reiff's injured left knee, and unless there's good news, there's a chance he'll miss Thursday's game against the Chicago Bears.

And if Reiff can't play, the Lions likely would go into the game with two rookies, including undrafted tackle Cornelius Lucas, starting for an offensive line that's already allowed 33 sacks this season.

Reiff, who's started every game the past two years, suffered the injury on the first play of Sunday's 34-9 loss to the New England Patriots and did not return.

"Not quite certain yet," Lions coach Jim Caldwell said Monday of Reiff's status. "We'll kind of see how it goes here in the next couple days."

The Lions already are shorthanded up front with right guard Larry Warford missing the past two games with a knee injury. As of last Thursday, Warford hadn't started running yet, but the team hopes he can still return this season. Rookie Travis Swanson, a third-round pick who played center in college, likely will make his third straight start Thursday.

When Reiff exited, Lucas played all the remaining snaps. Although he allowed a sack and had two penalties, Lucas played admirably in his first extended time at left tackle.

Lucas could start if Reiff is out, but the Lions might consider moving right tackle LaAdrian Waddle to the left side. Both Lucas and Waddle, who's in his second season, played left tackle in college.

"One of the things that's unique about that group of guys is they're pretty flexible," Caldwell said. "They can play both sides. … They work in unison together quite often, so the change is not as drastic as you might think"

Veteran Garrett Reynolds and Lucas split time at right tackle this year when Waddle missed time with injuries, and the Lions could promote Michael Williams from the practice squad if they need an extra backup.

"We do have options, obviously," Caldwell said. "We'll find a way to get it done. We have some guys on our squad that we think are capable of making some adjustments for us."

jkatzenstein@detroitnews.com

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