If the Detroit Lions avoid becoming the NFL’s first 0-15 team Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, they’ll do it with Dan Orlovsky as the starting quarterback. Coach Rod Marinelli named Orlovsky the starter at his Monday morning press conference, saying veteran Daunte Culpepper, who sat out the 31-21 loss to the Colts with a shoulder injury, was still not healthy. Orlovsky was solid against the Colts after returning from a six-week layoff due to a wrist injury. He finished 23-of-34 for 233 yards and a touchdown and nearly pulled off the road upset.
Marinelli didn’t spend a lot of time talking about the prospects of going 0-16, but did say the Lions are taking pride in staying together as a team.
“I think this team has been cut down,” Marinelli said. “I think it’s coming closer and closer together. I feel a real good unity as a team. It’s something you emphasize as a coach. We respect this game, and we’re going to play as hard as we can. When we cut down our mistakes, we’ll win.
“I believe in football character. I think they all like to play. At least they show it in terms of practice and preparation. … I’ve said all along, I’m extremely proud of this team and how they work.”