Culpepper pulled, but still Lions’ starter

Although he pulled Daunte Culpepper during the third quarter of Sunday’s 38-20 loss to the Bucs, Lions coach Rod Marinelli is sticking with the veteran as his starter. Marinelli said as much during his postgame press conference, while also confirming backup QB Drew Stanton, who he put into the game to provide a spark for the Lions, suffered a concussion.

Culpepper, who had to re-enter the game after Stanton’s injury, was 8-of-20 for 121 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in the loss. The Lions were unable to hold a 17-0 first-quarter lead, turning the ball over three times (including a 65-yard INT return by Ronde Barber) and allowing a 70-yard punt return.

“I think guys (are playing loose) because the effort is there, we’ve just got to play smarter,” said Culpepper. “As a team, offensively, we definitely got to play smarter. Continue to put ourselves in good positions to be successful. And turning the ball over like those two interceptions, that’s unacceptable. I got to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

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