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Detroit Lions place guard T.J. Lang on IR with neck injury

ALLEN PARK, Mich. — The Detroit Lions have placed Pro Bowl right guard T.J. Lang on injured reserve after he suffered a neck injury against Minnesota on Nov. 4.

Lang missed Sunday’s game against Chicago with the injury, and now his season is over, barring an unlikely playoff berth.

The 31-year-old signed with the Lions before the 2017 season after eight seasons with Green Bay as the team’s replacement for Larry Warford, who had departed for New Orleans. Detroit gave the Royal Oak, Michigan, native a three-year, $28.5 million contract to come home, beating out offers from Seattle and the Packers in the process.

His first two seasons with the Lions did not go as planned, as Lang was continuously injured. He started 13 games last season but dealt with a concussion and foot injuries. He started six games this season but missed time with back, hip and neck injuries and was also sidelined due to a concussion. The concussion, suffered against Dallas in Week 4, was the sixth of his career.

Lang also underwent surgery on his hip in 2017 before signing with the Lions.

Kenny Wiggins is likely to replace Lang in the lineup, as he has whenever Lang’s been out this season.

“We have a lot of confidence in all the guys we play,” offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter said Tuesday. “I think Kenny Wiggins has done a really nice job stepping in, ready to roll. Like I said, the guys we put in out there are good football players. We have confidence in them, they’re good players.

“T.J.’s a really good football player, there’s no doubt about that. But I like our guys, I think they’re out there competing, working really hard to do everything the best they can.”

It’s also possible Lang has played his final down with the Lions. He has no guaranteed money left on his contract and a salary-cap hit of $11,666,668 for 2019. Detroit would also owe him a $500,000 roster bonus if he’s on the team the fifth day of the new league year in March.

The Lions (3-6) signed rookie cornerback Mike Ford to replace Lang on the 53-man roster. Ford will likely replace Lenzy Pipkins, whom Detroit waived Monday.

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