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Detroit Lions Release Veteran NFL Running Back

A general view of the Detroit Lions stadium with an American flag on the field.

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 10: General view of Ford Field before the game between Detroit Lions and Arizona Cardinals on September 10, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

NFL teams have to trim their rosters down to 53 this weekend, but some are already releasing players. The Detroit Lions cut a veteran running back this afternoon.

Detroit released Zach Zenner, who had been with the club since 2015 but was stuck with the third string on the depth chart. Zenner had previously signed a one-year contract extension with the team in March.

In 36 career games (six starts), Zenner has rushed for 685 yards and eight touchdowns while catching 27 passes for 263 yards.

His best season came in 2016, when he carried 88 times for 334 yards and four touchdowns while adding 18 catches for 196 yards for a Lions team that reached the NFC playoffs.

Second-year pro Kerryon Johnson is entrenched as the Lions' starter at running back, with newly-signed veteran C.J. Anderson expecting to also see plenty of time.

With the loss of Zenner though, the rest of the position group is unproven. Rookie Ty Johnson and second-year man Mark Thompson are next in line.

Of course, with cuts rolling in throughout the league in the coming days, Detroit could always opt to bring in another veteran player to work with Johnson and Anderson.