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The Lions released running back Zach Zenner, the team confirmed Tuesday.

The move could signal the belief the Lions have in Ty Johnson, a sixth-round rookie out of Maryland who has shined in training camp and in the preseason.

Zenner was among the backs being considered as depth behind Kerryon Johnson and C.J. Anderson. He also played in special teams in four seasons with Detroit.

Zenner was on a one-year deal with the Lions after rushing for 265 yards last season, good for an average of 4.8 yards per carry.

Zenner played in eight games last year after breaking his back in the preseason.

In four seasons with the Lions, Zenner has rushed for 685 yards on 174 carries (3.9 average) and eight touchdowns. He's also caught 27 passes for 263 yards (9.7 yards per catch).

The move, which was first reported by ESPN, leaves the Lions with six running backs. In addition to Kerryon Johnson, Ty Johnson and Anderson, Detroit still has Justin Stockton, and fullbacks Nick Bawden and Mark Thompson.

The Lions have to trim their roster to 53 players by 4 p.m. Saturday.

Matt Schoch is a freelancer writer.

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