Lions ink veteran Smith

Otis Smith Sacks Harrington<BR>AP Photo

The Detroit Lions signed veteran cornerback Otis Smith on Wednesday, providing a much needed addition to a shallow secondary. Smith, released by New England for being slow to recover from a shoulder injury, has intercepted 28 passes in his 13 year career.

The Detroit Lions signed veteran cornerback Otis Smith on Wednesday, providing a much needed addition to a shallow secondary.

Vice president Matt Millen had nothing but good things to say about Smith.

"He's been a starter in the league, but the good thing is, we don't need him to be a starter. He will play for us in nickel situations, and he'll help us tremendously."

The signing of a corner was inevitable after losing Chris Cash in the preseason and finding out off-season addition Chris Watson will be out for several more weeks after recovering from back surgery.

Smith, released by New England for being slow to recover from a shoulder injury, has intercepted 28 passes in his 13 year career. He will be 38 years old in October.

Smith says he is healthy enough to play against Arizona in Detroit's opener, despite being cut by the Patriots because of his slow recovery: "I'm healthy enough to play, but it's not up to me to decide if I will."

Smith is likely to be utilized as the team's nickelback.

Notes: After missing time in the preseason, CB Dre Bly practiced Monday and is likely to start this week against Arizona ... Despite reports that the pick traded for Olandis Gary was a fourth rounder, it is not confirmed

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