The Detroit Lions are getting thin on defense in a hurry, and that isn’t good news for football fans in Motown. With Ziggy Ansah already on the PUP list (physically unable to perform) the last thing the Lions needed was a major injury to a key player on the defensive side of the ball. Unfortunately, it happened.

Hyder likely out for season with Achilles injury

Rising star defensive end Kerry Hyder was injured in the Lions first game of the 2017 preseason against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, and reports now indicate that he may be sidelined for the entire season.

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The former Texas Tech star had a breakout season for the Lions in 2016, recording eight sacks, 23 tackles, and 13 assists — not to mention all of the havoc he helped cause for Detroit on defense that doesn’t always show up in the box scores.

Hyder tweeted that he will be back, even referring to the Lakers star Kobe Bryant. But as of now, the Lions must find a way to fill the void of one of their top defenders. The question is will that come from within the organization or via trade? Either way, the Lions need help ASAP.

Lions possible top candidates to replace Hyder

There are a few NFL free agents looking for work, and some have a nice resume to boot. However, do they have enough left in the tank to be effective? Right now Mario Williams, Dwight Freeney and Jared Odrick are all out of a job and the Lions are looking for workers. Could any one of these three end up in the Honolulu Blue and Silver?

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Mario Williams was the No. 1 overall pick in 2006 and was a flat out beast on the field for several years. Williams had five double digit sack seasons, with his most recent in 2014. However, his last two seasons are part of the reason he hasn’t been picked up by a team in 2017. Williams had only five sacks in 2015 with the Buffalo Bills and just 1.5 last season with the Miami Dolphins. Williams may not have had a season to remember in Miami in 2016, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t help out the Lions now.

Dwight Freeney, like Mario Williams, is a proven veteran who has had great success in the league. Add to that he has a close relationship with Lions coach Jim Caldwell and Freeney could be a strong possibility to fill the Lions void at defensive end. Sure, Freeney is far from where he was in his prime, but if used in a limited role, he could be quite effective for Detroit in 2017. He certainly is worth a look.

Another option outside of the club includes former Miami Dolphins first round pick Jared Odrick.

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Odrick was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft after a successful college stint with Penn State. Odrick, who spent the last two seasons with Jacksonville, has 23 sacks in his seven-year career.

If the Lions choose not to go after any of these players, or any other free agents on the market, they do have several youngsters in-house hoping to make an impact including former Eastern Michigan star Pat O'Connor, as well as undrafted rookies Alex Barrett and Jeremiah Voloaga.

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