Lions to play the rest of the season without DT Rogers
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Detroit Lions will play their final four games without Shaun Rogers, perhaps their best player.
The defensive tackle was placed on injured reserve Wednesday, ending his season, after he played just six games this year
Rogers was suspended for four games by the NFL in October for taking a banned substance to help control his weight. He had knee surgery while he was away from the team, and he did not play when he was eligible because coach Rod Marinelli said he wasn't healthy.
"When he came back, guys could see he wasn't fully recovered from surgery," Marinelli said. "It is a blow, losing him. He's a heck of a player. But we've been playing without him for eight weeks."
He finished the season with 36 tackles and two sacks.
In Detroit's locker room, Rogers was asked if he was disappointed about being put on injured reserve or whether it was simply the best move for his future.
"You know I don't talk," said Rogers, who regularly declines to be interviewed.
Rogers was selected to the Pro Bowl the past two seasons. He had a career-high 5Â½ sacks last year despite taking on more than one blocker on almost every play.
"It's definitely going to be a guy that is missed," Lions defensive tackle Marcus Bell said. "But you have to think about his career. We can't rush him back."
Detroit (2-10) plays the Minnesota Vikings (5-7) at home Sunday.
Rogers missed just four games over five seasons after the Lions drafted him in the second round of the 2001 draft, overlooking injury concerns some teams had about him coming out of Texas.
Detroit signed him to a six-year contract after the 2004 season, keeping one of the few players to excel consistently for the NFL's worst team the past five-plus seasons.
Whether teams dared to block the 6-foot-4, 345-pound Rogers with one lineman or two, he often got where he wanted to go with a rare combination of size, speed, strength and nimble footwork.
"I think Shaun Rogers is the best defensive lineman in the game, not just the best defensive tackle," Lions president Matt Millen has said. "Some might be stronger, quicker or bigger, but nobody has his combination of all those things in addition to being as smart as he is."
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
I don't like to see anyone get hurt, but this will make things A LOT easier for our offense on Sunday.
In the P.J.'s, my blend tape plays, bullets are strays
Young bitches is grazed
Each block, is like a maze, full of black rats trapped
Plus the Island is packed
From what I hear in all the stories when my peoples come back, black