By releasing veteran Dominic Raiola earlier this offseason, the Lions appear ready to hand the starting center job over to Travis Swanson.
The Lions selected Swanson in the third round of the 2014 NFL draft out of Arkansas.
“I know that nothing’s guaranteed,” Swanson told the Lions' official website. “As far as my mindset, that wasn’t something I was going to think about. Yes, that’s how it looks on paper, but you can’t be settled on that, especially early in the year.”
Swanson did get some playing time this year at right guard due to an in-season injury to Larry Warford. Swanson started at center in the regular-season finale against Green Bay after Raiola was suspended for stomping on Bears defensive lineman Ego Ferguson's leg.
The Lions confirmed they won't bring back center Dominic Raiola for a 15th season, reports MLive.com. Raiola isn't retiring, however.
"Obviously, I still think I can play," he told the website.
Raiola started 203 games for the Lions after they took him in the second round of the 2001 draft. "In many ways, he's a throwback who could have played in any era of the NFL," general manager Martin Mayhew said in a statement.
The Lions have informed longtime center Dominic Raiola they do not plan to bring him back for the 2015 season, a source told the Detroit Free Press.
Raiola has spent his entire 14-year career with Detroit, appearing in 219 games and starting 203 times. He was the Lions' second-round pick in the 2001 NFL Draft out of Nebraska.
Lions center Dominic Raiola's one-game suspension was upheld by the league following his appeal. Raiola received the one-game suspension earlier in the week after stomping on the leg on Bears defensive lineman Ego Ferguson in Week 16.
The Lions are currently 7 1/2-point underdogs on the road against the Packers in Week 17.
Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall had some harsh words for Lions center Dominic Raiola Monday.
"This guy's a dirty player and he's a worse human being. He has no respect for himself," Marshall said.
Raiola, who was suspended one game for stomping on the leg of Ego Ferguson in Sunday's game against the Bears, was said to also poke fun at Marshall's history of mentall illness two years ago in pregame warmups.
"I'm just warming up, just standing there. He's like, 'Go take your medicine. You freaking weirdo, you freaking crazy guy.'"
Marshall was unable to play in Sunday's game after suffering broken ribs and a lung injury and being placed on the injured-reserve.
The NFL has suspended Lions center Dominic Raiola one game without pay on for his actions in Week 17 against the Bears. This is the sixth safety-related rules violation for Raiola since 2010. He will appeal to be heard tomorrow by an appeals officer.
If the ruling is upheld, Raiola will sit out Sunday's regular season finale against the Packers. The winner of that game will clinch the NFC North division. Raiola will be eligible to return for Detroit's first playoff game.
The Lions have informed center Dominic Raiola to expect a one-game suspension from the league for his actions in the third quarter of their Sunday defeat of Chicago, several sources have told Fox Sports.
Raiola was caught on camera stepping on the ankle of Bears defensive lineman Ego Ferguson. He told the media following the game that it was not intentional.
The NFL will review Lions center Dominic Raiola's action during the third quarter of Detroit's 20-14 victory over Chicago, according to ESPN.
"It was totally unintentional," Raiola said. "I remember I was stumbling out. I didn't see the end of it. I apologized at the end of the game, told him it was unintentional and we shook hands and that was it."
Raiola got slapped with a $10,000 fine for cut block in the final minute of a Week 12 loss to New England and could be in line for a heftier fine this time around. Coach Jim Caldwell said on Mondat that it could be a possibility where Raiola is not available for Detroit's Week 17 showdown at Green Bay.
Lions offensive lineman Dominic Raiola was fined $10,000 for unnecessary roughness for his actions in the final minute of Sunday's game against the Patriots, according to NFL spokesman Michael Signora.
The NFL fined Raiola as he unnecessarily struck his opponent on a pass play, violating Rule 12, Section 2, Article 12(c) of the NFL Rule Book which prohibits "striking, swinging at, or clubbing the head, neck, or face of an opponent with the wrist(s), arm(s), elbow(s), or hand(s)."
The play was a third-and-9 from the Detroit 35 with 57 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Raiola was not fined for his block on the final snap of the game.
Sources indicated Lions center Dominic Raiola will not receive a suspension or a fine from the NFL for his cut block at the end of Week 12’s game against New England, reports NFL Insider Ian Rapoport.
The NFL was reviewing Raiola’s antics for a possible fine and suspension. Raiola spoke to reporters Tuesday and said there was nothing dirty about any of his plays and the lack of a fine or suspension proves the situation was overblown.
"I don't live life with regrets," he said, per the Detroit Free Press. "I didn't intentionally try to hurt anybody; I didn't try to do anything out of the ordinary. I would have gotten a FedEx letter for that, so just play the game. I didn't make it a big deal, everybody else did."
If the NFL does suspend Lions center Dominic Raiola for his cut block at the end of Sunday’s game against New England, coach Jim Caldwell told reporters the team has a plan in place to replace Raiola, reports the Detroit Free Press.
The league is currently reviewing Raiola's cut block for a potential fine or suspension. He has started every game at center for the Lions this season.
The following starters will not suit up for the Lions Thursday night against the Bills: Quarterback Matthew Stafford, receivers Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, running back Reggie Bush, center Dominic Raiola, guard Rob Sims and tight end Brandon Pettigrew, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, cornerback Rashean Mathis, defensive end Jason Jones, safeties James Ihedigbo and Don Carey and linebacker Kyle Van Noy.
With the 76th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Lions selected Arkansas center Travis Swanson. A starter for the last four seasons, Swanson is a smart, stout lineman with experience in run and zone blocking. He's a better run blocker than pass blocker. Expect Swanson to put some pressure on Lions veteran center Dominic Raiola in training camp.
The Lions have re-signed center Dominic Raiola to a one-year deal, the Detroit Free Press reported Friday. He took a paycut last season and played well, so it is believed he received a nice raise.
Free agent center Dominic Raiola, who at 35 is coming off perhaps the best season of his 13-year career, is expected to return to the Lions on a short-term deal, reports the Detroit Free Press. Raiola did not allow a sack while starting all 16 games for the fifth straight season.
Lions center Dominic Raiola has put on nearly 20 pounds since the start of last season. He showed up at minicamp at 310 pounds, according to mlive.com, but he was typically weighing in at about 291 in the past.
The report says Raiola packed on the pounds with a healthy diet, consisting of plenty of brown rice, pasta and vegetables, as well as extra hours in the weight room. In addition to bulking up, Raiola has been working on his core muscles, flexibility and balance by doing yoga and Pilates.