Dan Campbell admits ‘I’m an (expletive)’ for cutting Don Muhlbach on his 40th birthday

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Don Muhlbach had just been given a rocking chair by his teammates as a 40th birthday present. His locker was decorated with balloons and lighthearted tokens, celebrating the milestone of the Lions long snapper for the last 17 seasons.

Minutes later, Muhlbach was informed by head coach Dan Campbell that his time with the Lions was over. Campbell and Muhlbach were once teammates in Detroit, and the surprise move was very hard on the new coach. Doing it on Muhlbach’s 40th birthday was not cool, and Campbell knows it.

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“No doubt. There is no way to sugarcoat that. I’m an (expletive),” Campbell said bluntly when asked about cutting the venerable veteran. “That’s about the best way to put it and I hate it. No, it is, but there was no way around it, really. Yeah, you could say there is, but ultimately, that falls on me. It’s my fault and Don’s a hell of a dude. It sucks, but it is what it is.”

The Lions released Muhlbach as part of a series of moves that was necessitated by injuries and attrition at other spots on the roster. They needed healthy bodies and fresh competition at other positions, according to Campbell.

“There were a number of moves like with Nick (Williams) that was coming down the wire to get him back from COVID/Reserve and the linebacker (Rashod Berry) and then the quarterback (Jordan Ta’amu) because of where we were at there,” Campbell continued. “Once again, it’s putting a strain and you’re looking for that spot. Unfortunately, it has to be on his birthday, and it stinks.”