ALLEN PARK — One job going down to the wire is between Nick Harris and Ryan Donahue to be the Lions punter.
Both will get chances in Thursday night’s final preseason game at Buffalo.
“Both of those guys have punted very, very well — just like our kickers. Jason (Hanson) was in a little different spot and we thought we needed to make that move right away,” coach Jim Schwartz said.
The Lions released kicker Dave Rayner, who had been competing with Hanson for the position.
But the battle at punter lingers.
“We’ve been alternating a lot of different ways and things like that and we chart just about every punt that those guys do — and hold is also important. When you’re a punter you’re also a holder, so, you know, those will all be important factors in (this) decision,” Schwartz added.
The Lions know Harris, whose been with the Lions for eight seasons, can hold so they’ve been giving Donahue opportunities.
“He was clean. Yeah, he … we used Dominic Raiola on our first extra point. He’s our back-up snapper and he looked like the back-up snapper and he rolled one back and Ryan was able to get it down and get that,” Schwartz said. “It’s a little slower operation on an extra point, but he did a good job of digging that out.”
Depleted offense hums
in the first three preseason games the Lions’ offense has hummed to the tune of at least 30 points per game, leading to three wins.
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The four quarterbacks have combined for 10 touchdown passes and just one interception.
The key here is that not all the starting offense has been on the field at one time.
It won’t happen at Buffalo on Thursday night either, but it will be close.
Schwartz said on Tuesday that running back Jahvid Best, who missed Saturday’s win over the Patriots, will play on Thursday.
However, wide receiver Nate Burleson will sit thanks to stitches in his elbow. He was hit on the spot in his elbow in Saturday’s game at the spot where he had been sown up after having a bursa sac removed in the offseason.
Ins and outs
Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch was back at practice Tuesday for the first time since injuring his shoulder in the preseason game at Cleveland.
Vanden Bosch has been ruled out of the game at Buffalo.
Offensive lineman Jason Fox (foot) still is not practicing but he is out of the orthopedic boot so another step closer to a return.
CB Alphonso Smith (foot) still is not practicing.
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