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With Jordan Thompson likely headed to injured reserve with a knee injury, the Lions plan to sign former Central Michigan tight end Deon Butler.

The 6-foot-3, 239-pound Butler went undrafted this year, but tried out for the Lions during rookie minicamp in May and had another workout with the team recently.

Thompson suffered what Lions coach Jim Caldwell called a "significant" injury in the fourth quarter of Thursday's exhibition against Washington and needed the assistance of two trainers to walk of the field.

With Thompson ailing, the Lions needed another tight end option for their last two preseason games, particularly as injury insurance behind Brandon Pettigrew, Eric Ebron, Joseph Fauria, Casey Pierce and Jacob Maxwell.

Barring something unforeseen, though, Butler's time in Detroit will likely be short with Pettigrew and Ebron atop the depth chart and Fauria nearly a lock to make the team.

jkatzenstein@detroitnews.com

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