Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
We're now four days away from insanity in Detroit.
Yes, you could argue that the Lions were long ago engulfed in such a state. But Wednesday's reports that quarterback Daunte Culpepper took the lead reps in his first practice with the Lions reinforce the notion that he will start Sunday against Jacksonville. Former starter Dan Orlovsky is scheduled to see a hand specialist later this week, and the Lions obviously don't trust backups Drew Stanton or Drew Henson.
There is always the possibility that coach Rod Marinelli will come to his senses and give Culpepper at least one week to get acclimated to the team, its offense and his new teammates. Wednesday, after all, was Culpepper's first football activity since Dec. 30, 2007 -- the date of his final game with the Oakland Raiders last season. (By my count, that's 311 days without a football practice.)
Culpepper hasn't played in a game -- regular season, preseason or otherwise -- since November 25 of last season. It would be one thing if the Lions entered the game with a pre-mediated plan to get him some snaps in, say, the second quarter. But the Lions appear determined to start him immediately.
This isn't intended as a shot at Culpepper. If anything, the Lions should shoulder the blame if he plays poorly. Coaches are tasked with the job of putting players in position to succeed. Is there any way this episode would qualify?