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Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Lions-Bears II: Jason Hanson's status

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Here's an interesting twist as we start looking at Sunday's rematch between the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears: Lions place-kicker Jason Hanson might not be available.

Hanson didn't kick in practice Wednesday because he had stitches in his knee, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Hanson had no known injuries in the Lions' Week 8 game at the Denver Broncos, so it's not clear if there was an injury during the bye week or if some other ailment developed. But the Lions are concerned enough about his status that they worked out two free-agent place-kickers Wednesday.

Dave Rayner, who filled in for an injured Hanson in 2010 but lost in a training camp competition this summer, signed this week with the Buffalo Bills.

Hanson is having a near-perfect year in his 20th NFL season, converting 17 of 18 field-goal attempts -- including four of 50-plus yards. He's also managed 26 touchbacks among his 51 kickoffs. We won't get too worried about his status with half the work week remaining, but Hanson is a significant weapon and could figure prominently in a close divisional game.