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WEEK IN REVIEW: Players step up after injuries hit d-line

Injuries to Kerry Hyder Jr. (Achilles) and Brandon Copeland (pectoral) in the preseason opener have left the Lions' defensive end rotation a little thin, especially with Ziggy Ansah still on PUP.

With adversity comes opportunity, and the Lions are ready to embrace their 'next man up' mentality. But who will that man be? Second-year defensive end Anthony Zettel is certainly a candidate.

"Yeah, I'm not going to overload myself to where I'm thinking too much and stuff, where it'll take me out of what I've been doing," Zettel said after the game. "But, I know I have a bigger role and I just want to play for these guys and play for Kerry, because they would do it for me."

Newcomer Cornelius Washington, who recently returned to practice after dealing with an injury, is also in the mix.

"Well, of course I don't like how this is going down," Washington said. "I was expecting to have to battle with Kerry for the spot. But we still have some young guys coming up. Alex (Barrett) is playing very well. So, it's not going to be easy by a long shot.

"It's not the way I wanted it to happen, but it seems like that's the way it's going to go."

The Lions could also look to one of their rookie defensive ends -- Pat O'Connor, Jeremiah Valoaga and Alex Barrett -- who all had nice preseason debuts.

"You make plays -- it really feels good," Barrett said. "It keeps you going. My first NFL game, it was a great experience. It was fun. It started early in the week, practicing with them (the Colts) for two days.

"It felt like we had three game days."

CAMP HIGHLIGHTS Recap all the action from the final week of Lions camp:

After impressing all training camp, rookie wide receiver Kenny Golladay burst into the public eye with two touchdowns in his preseason debut in Indianapolis.

Golladay isn't letting one big performance get to his head. He knows he still has work to do.

"Just come to work every day of practice and get better," Golladay said after the game. "And then come game day, just do what I have to do.

"I feel like I'll be pretty good as long as I keep working hard, come to work every day and just go out there and make plays."

And work hard, he did. Golladay stayed on the field after practice Friday to go through some routes with quarterback Matthew Stafford.

"I mean, he's been here before," Golladay said of Stafford. "He threw to Calvin Johnson, another guy who is tall like me. It's great to have someone who is very experienced to help me with the routes."


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