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NOTEBOOK: Lang leaves game with concussion

Lions Pro Bowl guard T.J. Lang has battled concussions in the past, which is why it was a bit troublesome to see the veteran offensive lineman suffer another one in the first quarter Sunday in Dallas after colliding helmet-to-helmet with Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith. 

Lang was down for several minutes, and was eventually helped off the field by trainers. He went straight to the Lions locker room and did not return.

Lang told reporters last season he's probably suffered "four or five" concussions throughout his 10-year NFL career. He missed games last season with a number of ailments, including a concussion.

Lang will now be placed in the NFL's concussion protocol. He'll have to be cleared by an independent neurologist before returning to practice.

Veteran Kenny Wiggins filled in at right guard for Lang the rest of the game Sunday, and is likely to do so until Lang gets clearance to return.

View in-game photos from the Detroit Lions Week 4 game against the Dallas Cowboys.


Football truly is a game of inches. 

Take the last series of the game in Detroit's 26-24 loss.

On the second play of what eventually turned out to be the game-winning drive for the Cowboys, Lions rookie defensive end Da'Shawn Hand was able to get around the left edge and strip the ball from Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. The ball bounced innocently behind Prescott, and he was able to pick it up at the Dallas 19 and eventually throw it away. What happens if that ball bounces a little different?

Two plays later, Lions safety Glover Quin got his finger tips on a Prescott pass and the ball fluttered to the ground. Had Quin been able to get more of a hand on the pass, maybe the ball pops more straight up for a teammate to be able to pick it off. 

Then there's the key play of the series, the 34-yard pass to running back Ezekiel Elliott on a perfectly thrown pass by Prescott over Elliott's shoulder and into his hands. If that ball is thrown a couple inches long or short, it's a lot tougher play for Elliott to make with Lions linebacker Jarrad Davis trailing.


The Lions had eight penalties for 58 yards in the game compared to only two for 20 yards for Dallas.

The Lions had one defensive series in the third quarter where they had three defensive holding penalties, which fortunately ended in a punt, but did allow Dallas to flip the field.

"That was obviously all really frustrating but it's going to start with me and I'm going to make sure that we get that stuff right," head coach Matt Patricia said after the game.


The Lions knew all week Elliott was the spark for the Cowboys' offense, and they were likely to lean on him heavily in this one.

Still, the Lions were unable to stop him. Elliott rushed for 152 yards and caught another four passes for 88 yards and a touchdown.

"We didn't execute the details of the game and they caught up with us," Lions defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois said afterward.

"I take my hat off to that team. That team did their job and executed and wanted it more. They wanted it more than us and were playing like it."

Elliott alone accounted for more than half of Dallas' overall total yards on offense (414).

"He's a great player," Patricia said. "He's a great player in this league and (when) you see him live and in action you know he's dynamic, he's explosive, he makes a lot of people miss tackles.

"He's obviously one of the better players on their team, the center point of their team, and we had to do a better job taking him away. But we couldn't get it done. They executed a lot better than we did, blocked it up and ran well and obviously had a big play at the end."


--Lions running back Kerryon Johnson, coming off a 101-yard performance last week, averaged 6.1 yards per rush, but ran the ball just nine times for 55 yards. He scored his first rushing touchdown on an 8-yard run in the fourth quarter.  

--Detroit was 1-for-2 in the red zone Sunday. They're now 4-of-12 on the year scoring touchdowns in the red zone.

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