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Allen Park — The Detroit Lions are without two key defensive players for the first series of OTA practices this week.

Coach Matt Patricia confirmed Tuesday that cornerback Darius Slay and defensive tackle Damon Harrison aren't in attendance for the voluntary practices. 

"Those two guys are not here," Patricia said. "You will not see them at practice today. But we fully expect that this time of year, guys that are here and guys that are not."

Patricia also made it clear the team has no issue with the absences. That's an important distinction after Tom Coughlin, the Jacksonville Jaguars vice president of football operations, got in trouble for criticizing players who weren't attending voluntary portions of the offseason program. 

"That's totally fine," Patricia said. "We're working with the guys that are out there. We've got a lot of guys out on the field and we're working with those guys to get better and it's a great opportunity for everybody to improve."

This isn't new territory for Patricia, who said he would occasionally have top Patriots defenders skip out on portions of the offseason program while he was serving as a coordinator with the franchise. 

Both Slay and Harrison have two years remaining on their current contracts. Harrison has already expressed interest in an extension. Both players share the same agent, Drew Rosenhaus.

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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