QB Culpepper, Lions agree

next week's starter up in air

Notes

November 03, 2008|By From Sun news services

Quarterback Daunte Culpepper (right) and the Detroit Lions have agreed on a contract, although the length and financial terms of the deal were not clear.

Coach Rod Marinelli, who made the announcement after his team's 27-23 loss to the Chicago Bears yesterday, would not answer questions about the deal but did say it hinges on the results of a pending nonorthopedic physical.

At 0-8, the Lions clearly need help.

How much Culpepper, 31, can provide remains to be seen. He planned to retire in December because he was frustrated over not finding work after a knee injury limited him with the Miami Dolphins in 2006 and Oakland Raiders in 2007. The three-time Pro Bowl player worked out with the Lions during the week and apparently showed enough to land a spot with them.

Dan Orlovsky started the past four games, with Jon Kitna out for the rest of the season with a back injury, and Marinelli would not say who will start against the Jacksonville Jaguars next week.

"Like I told you, every week we will wait until Sunday," Marinelli said. "That's being consistent."

Orlovsky said his approach won't change either way.

"I will just continue to prepare like I am the starting quarterback," he said.

RAIDERS: : Ahmed Ali al-Etabbi, 14, maneuvered onto the Oakland Coliseum field with crutches to watch pre-game warm-ups, his jeans rolled up over his missing right leg. The Iraqi teen beamed and soaked in the atmosphere, dressed head to toe in Raiders silver and black for his first NFL game: Oakland's 24-0 loss to the Falcons. Nearly two years ago, a suicide bomber in his hometown of Baghdad blew off his leg and killed his father; he has been in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past month receiving treatment and getting fitted for a prosthesis that's being donated to him. "He's very happy to be here," said Adli Rasheed, who is sponsoring and hosting the teen. "He's been a Raiders fan since he arrived here." The boys he's been living with introduced him to football because they're playing this fall. Raiders CEO Amy Trask heard the story of al-Etabbi's plight - and that he had instantly become a Raiders fan - and quickly went to work to make sure he could attend a game during his stay in Northern California. "You hear people whine about things, but look at his spirit and what he's gone through," she said.

POLITICS: : How's that for an aerial attack? A plane pulling a banner saying "McCain is a Raiders Fan" flew over Invesco Field yesterday as fans gathered for the Denver Broncos' game against the Miami Dolphins. The liberal group ProgressNow hired the plane to link McCain to Denver's archrival after hearing about the plans of John McCain supporters to hold a "hibachi tailgate" party in one of the stadium's parking lots.

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