Lions put Mathis on IR, ending his season

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Rashean Mathis (31)

Rashean Mathis has been feeling the effects of a concussion suffered in Week 7 for nearly three weeks, and the Lions decided the brain injury will end his season.

The team placed the 35-year-old cornerback on injured reserve Saturday, ending his season before Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers (1 p.m., FOX).

Lions coach Jim Caldwell referred to Mathis' sustained brain injury as "a complicated issue" on Wednesday before head trainer Kevin Bastin made a rare media address to explain it.

According to Bastin, the Lions tested Mathis for a concussion in the fourth quarter of an Oct. 25 loss to the Vikings. He passed the test with an independent neurologist, but Mathis began to suffer from headaches the following Thursday when the team was in London.

He missed the Week 8 game against the Chiefs due to an illness as the Lions did not check him test him for a concussion, Bastin said.

"Our team physician didn't seem (to think) that it was affiliated," he said Wednesday.

When the team returned to Detroit, Mathis entered into concussion protocol. After missing practice all week, the team ruled him out for Sunday's game.

Mathis also left the game against the Vikings in the first quarter, but was cleared to return before exiting again in the fourth quarter.

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With Mathis on IR, the Lions signed cornerback Crezdon Butler, who was with the team this summer, to the 53-man roster. Nevin Lawson will likely start for Mathis on Sunday as he did in London.

Mathis is on the first year of a two-year, $3.5 million deal he signed in March. Although he said before the season he thought he had a couple more years in him, this season ending prematurely will surely lead to speculation about a possible retirement.

The Lions also promoted rookie safety Isaiah Johnson from the practice squad with fellow safety Isa Abdul-Quddus (foot) questionable. To make room for Johnson, the Lions waived linebacker James-Michael Johnson.