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Lions Mailbag: Who are the backups?

A week from now, you'll be watching a bunch of teams in their first regular-season games. The Detroit Lions won't play until the next night, but cut downs have happened. Regular-season football is finally here.

And the Mailbag remains. As always, to ask a question for the Mailbag, tweet with the hashtag #LionsMailbag, drop me a note on my Facebook page or email me at michael.rothstein@espn.com. With all of the roster movement and fluidity, this is a shorter mailbag than usual because I avoided roster questions from when this was put together and when it would run.

Now, on to your questions:

@mikerothstein: If Joique Bell or Reggie Bush were to get injured -- and you saw it last season with Bush -- the other would probably receive a good chunk of the other's snaps. In addition, the Lions would certainly lean on Theo Riddick a little bit more and perhaps give some carries to a fullback. Depending what the roster looked like at that point in time -- remember, the roster is a constantly evolving thing -- there could be a pickup or promotion from a practice squad as well.



@mikerothstein: If you had asked me this question two weeks ago, I would have said Ashlee Palmer without question. Now, I'd lean heavily toward Tahir Whitehead. The former Temple player has had an extremely strong preseason and has grown into a player who could be a capable starter in his third NFL season. He'll always have a big special teams role, but that he can play linebacker effectively as well is helpful. That said, you might as well throw Bill Bentley in there since most teams run nickel as much as a base 4-3/3-4 (in Detroit's case, 4-3) defense.



@mikerothstein: Considering the person asking this question is in one of the leagues I participate in, I feel like I shouldn't answer this, but I will. Eric Ebron should have a decent fantasy season for a tight end because the Lions are going to pass the ball a lot and Ebron is going to be a stretch-the-field tight end. I wouldn't expect massive numbers -- most rookie tight ends don't do that -- but respectable ones. Maybe 400-500 yards and a handful of touchdowns. That's been around the projection on ESPN's fantasy site and something that could be close to right. He's going to compete with Joseph Fauria for playing time early and Fauria has the better hands and is a better blocker right now. Plus, as Fauria improves, his ability as a red zone target as well shouldn't go unnoticed for fantasy purposes.