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Lions LB Follett doing better after helmet-to-helmet hit

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Lions linebacker Zack Follett has been cleared to return to Detroit after being hospitalized following a violent helmet-to-helmet hit with a New York Giants player.

"He's flying back today," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Monday. "He's doing a lot better. His tests all came back very, very encouraging. We look forward to a quick recovery and seeing him back on the field sometime."

Schwartz said the injury wasn't concussion related.

Follett's frightening injury happened in Sunday's game in New York while he was covering a fourth-quarter kickoff. He lay on the field for about five minutes while attended by medical personnel from both teams.

A backboard was placed under Follett's back, then he was placed on a stretcher and carted off the field and taken to Hackensack University Medical Center.

The Lions announced later Sunday that Follett was conscious and had full movement in his limbs, and that MRI and CT tests came back negative. Schwartz said the team tried to keep players informed about Follett's condition, but the linebacker already was doing that himself.

"A lot of our players were a little bit ahead of us, because Zack was talking on the phone," Schwartz said. "He was calling a lot of guys."

Schwartz said it's too early to guess how long Follett's recovery might take before he can play again.

"Every case is a little bit different," the coach said. "I've seen a couple different times, incidents like this, where guys were temporarily not feeling anything and then bounced back."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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