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Lions Bringing Back Long Snapper Don Muhlbach for a 16th Season

The Lions are bringing back Don Muhlbach, as the team announced that they have re-signed the long snapper, who has been on the roster since 2004.

Muhlbach came to Detroit as an undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M, starting his career first with Baltimore, but he did not make the final roster and was released.

He’s second all-time in games played with the Lions at 228, only behind former kicker Jason Hanson.

Lions LB Trevor Bates Pleads Not Guilty to Three Charges While Still in Psychiatric Ward

Lions linebacker Trevor Bates has been arraigned from a hospital psychiatric ward on charges he punched a New York City police officer after failing to pay a taxi fare, the Associated Press reports.

The 25-year-old pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges including assault, resisting arrest and theft of services.

His lawyer says they’re looking forward to “resolving this manner in an expeditious and satisfactory fashion.”

Bates was arrested around 1:30 a.m., Jan. 26 at a hotel near LaGuardia Airport after allegedly refusing to pay a $32 cab fare.

Police say they would’ve let Bates go with an appearance ticket if he didn’t have any outstanding warrants, but he refused to be fingerprinted and slugged a sergeant.

Bates’ bail was set at $5,000 cash. His next hearing is scheduled for March 8th.

Is Lions Coach Matt Patricia’s Job Safe? He Thinks So

It’s a fair question to ask whether Lions coach Matt Patricia’s job is safe. The answer, after receiving matching five-year contracts with general manager Bob Quinn this past offseason, is almost certainly yes.

But has Patricia been told he’ll be back in 2019, one way or the other, by team owner Martha Firestone Ford? Patricia beleives he will be back, Justin Rogers of the Detroit News reports.

“I’m pretty confident,” Patricia said. “Everything for me, right now, is just keep moving forward and getting ready for the game this weekend. Like I said, I meet with Mrs. Ford every week, so they’ve been great. Her and her family have been great.”

Patricia said he prefers to keep the nature of those conversations between the two parties.

“I’m going to keep everything in-house as far as all that’s concerned,” Patricia said. “I think, again, we’re just pushing forward for Green Bay right now. I want to keep the topic of Green Bay; that’d be great.”

Video: NFL Network Previews the Week 16 Vikings at Lions NFC North Battle

Move the Sticks hosts preview the Week 16 matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions.

Lions Place DE Ezekiel Ansah on IR with Shoulder Injury

The Lions put on Tuesday defensive end Ezekiel Ansah on injured reserve Tuesday according to the team’s official website.

Ansah dislocated his shoulder against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday and is expected to require surgery. Playing on the franchise tag, the 29-year-old Ansah was limited to seven games by shoulder issues this season.

He notched four sacks on 146 snaps after posting 12 sacks in 2017. Originally the No.5-overall pick out of BYU in 2013, it seems likely that Ansah has placed his last down for the Lions.

Lions Place Starting Wide Out Marvin Jones on IR

The season is over for wide out Marvin Jones Jr., as today the Lions placed the starting wide receiver on injured reserve according to Tim Twentyman of detroitlions.com.

Jones has missed the past two games with a knee injury. Initially the Lions were optimistic about the injury, calling it a “bone bruise” and denying that Jone had any MCL or ACL damage.

He has been unable to practice however and, with the Lions 2018 season in ruins, the team has apparently decided to shut their No.1 wideout down for the remainder of the season. Jones has 35 catches for 508 yards and five touchdowns this season in nine games but his yards-per-game average was down significantly from 2017 and it became immediately apparent that he was not suited to the No.1 role after the midseason trade of Golden Tate.

The 29-year-old has two seasons remaining on the five-year, $40 million free agent contract he signed to join the Lions in 2016 after three seasons in Cincinnati and there is no reason to believe he will not return in 2019.

What was once considered one of the best and deepest wide receiving corps in the entire NFL at the start of the season has become embarrassingly thin.

Second-year breakout star Kenny Golladay will likely continue to see a massive share of targets but the rest of remaining Lions receivers-T.J. Jones, Bruce Ellington, Andy Jones, Brandon Powell-are not likely to strike fear in any NFL defense.

Lions RB LeGarrette Blount Sticks Up for QB Matthew Stafford After Loss

Matthew Stafford continues to feel the heat from detractors who believe he’s an overpaid slingshot artist who comes up tiny in big moments, Kevin Patra of NFL.com reports.

Thursday’s Thanksgiving turnover-feast against the Chicago Bears won’t help the Detroit Lions’ quarterback.

With the game tied at 16-16, Stafford threw a back-breaking pick-six on a flat route to tight end Michael Roberts that Bears safety Eddie Jackson read the entire way. Stafford then drove the Lions into position to try and tie the game, only to toss another interception after a miscommunication with Roberts that sealed the 23-16 loss.

The mistakes, along with being outplayed by journeyman clipboard holder Chase Daniel, have the pitchforks out for Stafford.

The QB, however, has backers within the locker room.

“I don’t like to point fingers and I don’t think that it’s his fault,” LeGarrette Blount said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “He’s a great quarterback. He’s really good at what he does, he’s really great at his craft. But there’s no quarterback that’s going to go into a full season and not make any mistakes. So I think he’s human. He makes mistakes, I make mistakes, we all make mistakes and a lot of mistakes give you an L.”

With top running back Kerryon Johnson and receiver Marvin Jones out, the Lions employed an ultra-conservative game plan against the Bears bulldozing defense. The strong-armed Stafford was relegated to an Alex Smith impersonator. According to Next Gen Stats, Stafford averaged 4.2 air yards per attempt, his lowest since Week 5 of 2016 (4.1). Watching Stafford throw 2-yard routes on 3rd-and-4 left fans tossing turkey legs at the television.

Whether the recent dink-and-dunk strategy is a product of offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter’s system, Stafford’s in-game decision-making, or a confluence of factors remains a question for which there has been no straight answer.

First-year coach Matt Patricia deflected when asked Thursday if the team expects more out of its quarterback.

“I think we need more out of everybody, to be honest with you,” Patricia said. “There were a lot of plays in there where all of us have to do more, whether it’s preparation or coaching or playing, whatever it is. There are a lot of plays that we can all point to.”

Lions Fire Special Teams Coach Joe Marciano

Lions head coach Matt Patricia announced Monday night he has fired special teams coach Joe Marciano, Kyle Meinke of Mlive reports.

“Tonight I spoke to Joe and informed him of my decision to relieve him of his responsibilities with our team,” Patricia said in a statement issued by the team. “I appreciate Joe’s leadership of our special teams units over the last three and a half seasons and have great respect for his many years of service as a coach in the National Football League. On behalf of our team and the entire coaching staff, I want to personally thank Joe for his commitment to the Detroit Lions and wish him and his family the best moving forward.”

Marciano was one of the most senior special teams coordinators in the game. He broke into the NFL as New Orleans’ special teams coordinator in 1986, before moving on to Tampa Bay in 1996, Houston in 2002 and Minnesota in 2014 before landing on Jim Caldwell’s staff in 2015. And he helped turn Detroit’s special teams unit into one of the league’s finest.