The preseason ended rather unceremoniously for the Detroit Lions Thursday night, as they fell to the Browns 35-17 to end their preseason with a 1-3 record.
Things now flip rather quickly for general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia into regular season mode, as the Lions need to trim their roster to 53 players Saturday, start establishing their 10-man practice squad after that, and then begin their preparations for the New York Jets.
As for Thursday's preseason finale, all of the starters on both sides of the ball for both teams sat this one out, which made the game a showcase of depth and reserve players.
The Browns scored on each of their first three possessions of the game led by No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield, and jumped out to a 17-0 lead, as the Lions punted on their first four offensive possessions.
A 64-yard interception return by Nate Orchard late in the second quarter gave Cleveland a 25-0 halftime lead.
Fourth quarter touchdowns by running back Dwayne Washington (one yard) and wide receiver Chris Lacy (four yards) made the final score respectable for the Lions.
View in-game photos from the Detroit Lions preseason game against the Cleveland Browns.
Quarterback comparison: Matt Cassel and Jake Rudock have battled all summer long to see who would back up Matthew Stafford in the fall.
Each got one more opportunity to make a good final impression vs. Cleveland.
Rudock played nearly the entire first half and failed to lead the Lions to a first down that wasn't gained via penalty. He was reinserted into the game in the third quarter, and played the rest of the way.
Rudock entered the final game having led the Lions on three fourth-quarter touchdown drives in the first three preseason contests. He added two more vs. Cleveland and finished 14-of-24 passing for 112 yards with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Lacy and a passer rating of 84.0.
Cassel played four possessions in the second and third quarters. He completed four of his first six passes for 64 yards, but was 0-for-5 the rest of the way, including a bad pass right to Browns defensive lineman Nate Orchard that he returned 64 yards for a touchdown.
Cassel finished 4-for-11 passing for 64 yards with the one interception and a 18.8 passer rating.
Injury report: Detroit was unable to escape Thursday's preseason finale injury free.
Tackle Corey Robinson, who is fighting for a swing tackle role, injured a foot and did not return.
Reserve safety Rolan Milligan injured his chest on the first play of the game. He also did not return. Fellow safety Marcus Cromartie injured his hip in the third quarter and missed the remainder of the game.
Running back Zach Zenner injured his back after taking a shot trying to make a catch early in the first quarter. He too did not return.
Night off: In true preseason finale fashion, a number of Lions did not play in in this contest. That list included: quarterback Matthew Stafford, offensive tackle Taylor Decker, offensive lineman Frank Ragnow, center/guard Graham Glasgow, guard T.J. Lang, offensive tackle Rick Wagner, running back LeGarrette Blount, running back Kerryon Johnson, running back Ameer Abdullah, fullback Nick Bellore, wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr., wide receiver Golden Tate, wide receiver Kenny Golladay, wide receiver TJ Jones, wide receiver Bradley Marquez, tight end Luke Willson, tight end Levine Toilolo, defensive end Ziggy Ansah, defensive tackle Sylvester Williams, defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois, linebacker Devon Kennard, defensive end Kerry Hyder Jr., linebacker Jarrad Davis, linebacker Christian Jones, linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin, safety Miles Killebrew, cornerback Darius Slay, cornerback Nevin Lawson, cornerback Jamal Agnew, safety Glover Quin, safety Tavon Wilson, defensive back Quandre Diggs and kicker Matt Prater.
Night shift: The players taking part in Thursday's contest were either players needing more reps or fighting for roster spots. Among some of the veteran names in that group were defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson, defensive end Anthony Zettel and cornerbacks Teez Tabor and DeShawn Shead.