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Allen Park — Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia is still recovering from lower-leg surgery he had this offseason, but he's making steady progress in his rehab, announcing he's recently advanced to using crutches around the team's practice facility. 

Even on crutches, Patricia still will be limited as to where he can be on the sidelines. NFL rules prohibit any player or team personnel from being close to the action if their mobility is restricted. 

"We’re very slowly day-by-day here right now," Patricia said. "It is really just a safety thing for me and for the players. That’s really just my biggest concern."

That leaves Patricia in line to open the regular season from his fortified position he's coached from during the preseason, behind the two benches, on a raised platform, protected by the Gatorade coolers. 

In recent weeks, Patricia's chief of staff Kevin Anderson has handled a few more coaching duties, including the throwing of the challenge flag and communicating with the officials. 

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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