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DeAndre Levy (hip) not expected to play Week 1

The Lions will be without one of their best players when they face the Chargers on Sunday.

DeAndre Levy is not expected to play Week 1 against San Diego.

The linebacker has missed the last two weeks of practice with a hip injury. Levy's injury is improving, but he's not well enough to open up the season with the team, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Josh Bynes is expected to start in Levy's place.

Last month Levy signed a four-year extension to stay in Motown. He has started every game for the Lions for the past two seasons. The linebacker had a team-best six interceptions in 2013 and led Detroit with 151 tackles last year.

Detroit will certainly miss his production on defense, but Lions coach Jim Caldwell remains confident that his team will adapt.

"I think we went through this same thing with a number of different guys last year, guys that have been injured," Caldwell said Thursday. "And this game, you have to anticipate it. There's a 100 percent injury rate in this business, so you have to anticipate you're going to have to play without a number of guys so that's part of the reason why you build up your depth, that's a part of the reason why we go about the way in which we do to structure our practices and things of that nature that we got people in position."

Despite Caldwell's notion, Levy's absence will be a major blow for the Lions. Levy is one of the best weak-side linebackers in the league. He's a sure tackler and can cover running backs and tight ends in the passing game. The silver lining for Detroit is that the team they're facing is going to be without star tight end Antonio Gates.

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