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Andy Behrens

Marinelli on Rudi: 'We kind of went with him'

Andy Behrens
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Kevin Smith carried three times for 14 yards in the first quarter of the Lions' season-ending 31-13 loss to the 49ers...and that was it.

Smith was done. Rudi Johnson was not.

The high-mileage, scrapheap RB finished with 14 carries for 83 yards and three receptions for 48. Johnson also caught a 34-yard fourth quarter touchdown pass. He averaged over 5.0 yards per carry for the first time since Week 2 last season.

There's no word yet of an injury to Smith. This was simply a hostile takeover by Rudi:

Coach Rod Marinelli -- whose plan to run the ball was derailed again when the Lions fell behind 14-0 early -- didn't plan on running Johnson more than Smith in the second half, but Johnson's play dictated him getting the bulk of the work.

"I think he just got in and he started feeling it, running and getting it going," Marinelli said of Johnson. "So we kind of went with him. He was running hard."

The Lions have a bye in Week 4 -- in a way, it's their fourth consecutive off-week -- and they'll return against the Bears, Vikings, and Texans.

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