By Jeff O'Brien

The Detroit Lions have released Don Muhlbach, ending his 17-season career with the franchise.

PITTSBURGH, PA – NOVEMBER 17: Long snapper Don Muhlbach #48 of the Detroit Lions looks on from the sideline during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on November 17, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Lions 37-27. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

Detroit made the move Tuesday — Muhlbach’s 40th birthday — to create a roster spot to sign former XFL quarterback Jordan Ta’amu.

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“Don Muhlbach will go down as one of the all-time Detroit Lions greats,” Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp said in a statement.

“Since joining our team as a free agent in 2004, to earning the respect of his teammates as a team captain, he has represented our organization with class, consistency and true sportsmanship.”

Muhlbach played in 260 games, trailing only former kicker Jason Hanson on the team’s career list. The former Texas A&M standout signed with the Lions in 2004 as an undrafted rookie after the Baltimore Ravens released him.

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – NOVEMBER 08: Don Muhlbach #48 of the Detroit Lions warms up before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on November 8, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

“Only 36 players in the history of the National Football League have played in more games than Don, and we are proud to call him a Lion for life,” Ford Hamp said.

The 23-year-old Ta’amu was undrafted out of Mississippi in 2018.

He gives Detroit another option at quarterback other than Jared Goff in its preseason game Saturday night at Pittsburgh with backups Tim Boyle (ankle) and David Blough (shoulder) limited by injuries.


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