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Starting CB Rashean Mathis inactive Sunday for Lions

The Detroit Lions will be playing the Kansas City Chiefs in London on Sunday without one of the team's top cornerbacks.

Rashean Mathis, who practiced fully Thursday and Friday, is inactive Sunday against the Chiefs, presumably because of the illness he had been dealing with last week. This is a blow to a somewhat thin secondary for the Lions, as the rest of the team's corners other than starter Darius Slay are more suited to play in the slot.

Nevin Lawson, the 2014 fourth-round pick out of Utah State, will start in place of Mathis. Lawson has played in six games this season but only 15 snaps on defense, making one tackle. The Lions will also lean on veteran corner Josh Wilson, who could play both outisde and in the slot against Kansas City.

The Lions' other inactives for Sunday's game were mostly expected: LB DeAndre Levy, DT Gabe Wright, DT Khyri Thornton, OT Corey Robinson, TE Tim Wright and WR TJ Jones.

Wright was likely headed to a small role or inactive with Eric Ebron and Brandon Pettigrew being healthy. Jones has his most value as a returner, so expect Ameer Abdullah and Golden Tate to handle kick and punt return duties for Detroit.