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Former Lions wide receiver Leonard Thompson dies at 69

The Detroit News
Detroit Lions wide receiver Leonard Thompson attempts to head up field as Redskin linebacker Mel Kaufman tries to dislodge the ball during their game at RFK Stadium in Washington, Jan. 10, 1983. Thompson caught seven passes for 150 yards. The Redskins defeated the Lions 31-7 in the first round of the NFC playoffs.

Leonard Thompson, a wide receiver for the Detroit Lions from 1975-86 who is tied for fourth in franchise history with 35 career touchdown receptions, has died. He was 69.

The Lions announced Thompson's death on Twitter, Wednesday night. No cause of death was given.

Thompson played all 12 seasons of his NFL career with the Lions. He ranks 10th in franchise history for games played (175).

Thompson was drafted by the Lions in the eighth round, 194th overall, in the 1975 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma State. 

Upon his retirement, his 35 career touchdown receptions were tied with Terry Barr (1957-65) for a franchise record. They have since been passed by Calvin Johnson, Herman Moore and Marvin Jones, and tied by Johnnie Morton.

Some Lions fans will remember Thompson for his three-touchdown performance on Thanksgiving Day, 1985, in a 31-20 romp of the Jets, or his blocked punt against the Baltimore Colts in December 1977 that led the Lions to an improbable 13-10 victory on the road.