- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer
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Good morning and ROOOOAAARRR!!!!
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- He has a beard rivaling linebacker DeAndre Levy's, a personality that would fit in well with the affable wide receiver Nate Burleson and could be looked at as early as this weekend to replace defensive end Ziggy Ansah.
This is Austen Lane, the Detroit Lions' newest defensive lineman, signed Tuesday to give some help to the front four. Lane played his first three years for the Jacksonville Jaguars -- making 66 tackles -- before being cut this past offseason, a situation he wrote about for The MMQB.
To stay in shape as he waited for a new team, Lane picked up other sports.
"It's one thing to be in football shape, obviously, you can't put on pads and you're not going against guys every single day, but I've been doing boxing, MMA stuff," Lane said. "That's what I was really getting into. And then just weight training, things like that.
"Boxing and MMA kind of filled my void of hitting people and stuff like that because I still need some contact, you know what I'm saying. I can't just go and bench 225 pounds a couple times and call it a day. I had to do something else. That's where the MMA came in and helped out a lot."
Among the interesting things about Lane -- besides the beard, dreads, writing prowess and MMA -- is one of his tattoos. He has a tattoo of Bob's Big Boy -- seriously -- on his right bicep.
He said in Jacksonville, Fla., that he had to explain it was the Big Boy, not Jimmy Neutron. That won't be a problem in Michigan.
"It says 'Doing Big Boy things in a Big Boy world,' " Lane said. "You guys got these restaurants around here, right?"
Detroit needs Lane to pick up the defensive scheme quickly. Ansah has not practiced all week with an ankle injury and if he can't play, the Lions would only have ends Willie Young, Israel Idonije and Devin Taylor with any experience playing.
In Jacksonville and Kansas City, Lane said he played in a 3-4, which is a little different than the 4-3 the Lions play. But he'll have to be prepared to play Sunday against Chicago.
"That's the idea," Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said. "We didn't bring him in to just practice. He's going to have to be ready to play in case Ziggy can't go.
"We won't know until we get later in the week but that's the plan right now. Everyone has to prepare, even our practice squad players prepare as if they have to play on Sunday. That's the only way you can do it."
And now a look around the Interwebs in search of Lions news:
Lifelong Lions fan Ryan Riess wins the World Series of Poker in a Calvin Johnson jersey and is pretty pumped about it.
Why some Detroit Lions wear the numbers they wear.
Ndamukong Suh has starred against Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers and he hopes Cutler plays Sunday. Brandon Marshall likes the Bears offensive line and Johnson is making a move in the MVP watch. The Lions midseason report and a look at the latest rising/falling.
Sunday's game is huge for the Lions, writes Paula Pasche in the Oakland Press.