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Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Black and Blue all over: Looker gets his kicks

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

Dane Looker is hoping to be the next Chad Ochocinco, at least in one regard. Looker, a receiver who spent the past seven seasons in St. Louis, worked as Detroit's placekicker Tuesday in practice. The event occurred less than a week after Ochocinco kicked an extra point and also kicked off in a preseason game for Cincinnati.

According to Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press, Looker converted all four attempts -- including a 43-yarder into the wind. Lions coach Jim Schwartz threw Looker into the mix when kicker Swayze Waters reported a sore hamstring. Regular kicker Jason Hanson is recovering from what has been described as minor knee surgery.

During the regular season, punters often serve as the emergency placekicker. But Looker has been working on kicks in practice for most of his career and said he once converted a 56-yarder during pregame warm-ups.

Continuing around the NFC North:
Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com looks at the potential contributions of the Lions' rookie class this season.Great headline on Bob McGinn's story about Green Bay linebacker Brady Poppinga and outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "Loony Tune."Packers defensive lineman Justin Harrell, who thought he might have to retire last week, now believes he will play again, writes Tom Pelissero of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.Chicago re-signed special-teams ace Darrell McGlover for linebacker depth, notes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times.Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune notes six things we've learned about new Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. Among them: He has a great arm but will throw interceptions.It's still not clear if Minnesota receiver Bernard Berrian (hamstring) will play next Monday at Houston, writes Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune.The Vikings did get quarterback Sage Rosenfels (ankle) and defensive end Jared Allen (foot) back on the practice field Tuesday, writes Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.