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Detroit — It’s one thing to lose a game, it’s another to lose a player for the season. In the third quarter against the Falcons Sunday, defensive end Anthony Zettel didn’t get up after a play. After having his right knee examined by trainers, he hobbled to the sideline. It didn’t look good.

It was a blow the Lions could ill afford, already down one defensive end after Kerry Hyder’s season-ending injury in the preseason. But after a more thorough examination on the sideline, and a brief workout on an exercise bike, Zettel was able to action several minutes later.

“There are a lot of things that happen during the course of the game that guys have to leave for a little bit and are able to return, and he was able to return,” coach Jim Caldwell said. “Hopefully, he’ll be all right.”

Zettel recorded his second sack in the loss, a key stop on third down that forced the Falcons to settle for a field goal. It was his second sack of the season, besting his 13-game total as a rookie last year.

jdrogers@detnews.com

Twitter: @justin_rogers