DETROIT - For the second consecutive December, Lions running back and former Cardinal O'Hara High star Kevin Jones has suffered a serious injury. Last year, it was his left foot; this year, it's his right knee.

Jones tore his anterior cruciate ligament in Sunday's game against Kansas City.

Coach Rod Marinelli said Monday that doctors will wait for swelling to subside before making a decision on operating. Early indications are that Jones will miss the team's entire offseason program.

"I'm not an expert saying this or anything," Marinelli said. "I'm sure it wouldn't be until training camp, I wouldn't think. But I don't know that. I'm not the doctor. They haven't done enough yet on it. They want to let the swelling come down. But no, it's a tough break."

Jones was injured on a meaningless play in a meaningless game. The Lions had lost six straight, the Chiefs seven straight; both had been eliminated from the playoffs.

Jones caught a screen pass, and as he ran for a 6-yard gain, Chiefs cornerback Benny Sapp fell into his right leg. Jones lay on the turf in obvious pain, then hobbled off the field.

Jones was injured last December while trying to score a touchdown against Minnesota.

Jones' final rushing numbers for 2007: 153 carries, 581 yards, eight touchdowns. The attempts and yards are career lows, but the touchdowns are a career high. *