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Lions need to decide on Alex Carter by Monday

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Alex Carter

Allen Park — The Lions have until Monday to decide what to do with rookie cornerback Alex Carter.

A third-round pick in May, Carter remains on injured reserve with designation for return after starting the year with an ankle injury. This is his third week of practice, but if the Lions don't add him to the active roster by Monday, they'll have to keep him on IR for the rest of the year.

As of Tuesday, Carter said coaches hadn't given him an indication of whether or not he'd have a chance to play this season.

"I feel like I've done good (in practice)," he said. "There's always room for improvement, but I feel like I've made some strides since I came back."

The Lions have two recently-signed cornerbacks on the roster now, and if they really want to see Carter perform this year, it'd make sense to activate him instead of keeping Crezdon Butler or Bill Bentley.

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Of course, with the team 3-7 and postseason hopes at a minimum, the Lions could be extra cautious with Carter.

Coach Jim Caldwell said Wednesday a decision on Carter's status will be "forthcoming," and the team is still in the evaluation process. In addition to how Carter has practiced, the Lions will consider his health, though Carter has been healthy for more than a month.

The Lions have had strong cornerback play the past two games with Darius Slay and Nevin Lawson on the outside and rookie Quandre Diggs in the slot. At 6-foot, 198 pounds, Carter projects more as an outside cornerback, which likely means the team will have to decide whether he can contribute more than the veteran Butler.

Although he admittedly was a bit rusty when he started practice a couple weeks ago, Carter feels more comfortable physically now and hasn't had any issues with the scheme because he sat through meetings while injured. He's also been spending extra time after practice working on technique with cornerbacks coach Tony Oden.