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Lions start Garcia, bench Harrington

CLEVELAND (Oct. 23, 2005) -- Jeff Garcia, released by the Browns in February, will start at quarterback against his former team, replacing the struggling Joey Harrington who has NFL's lowest passer rating.

Garcia returned to practice this week for the first time since breaking his leg in the Lions' final exhibition game. The 35-year-old was signed in the offseason by Detroit as a backup.

But with Harrington off to a terrible start (four TD passes, eight interceptions and a 55.6 rating), Lions coach Steve Mariucci has decided to go with Garcia, who played for him in San Francisco.

Harrington, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2002 draft, had started 37 consecutive games -- the longest streak by a Lions QB since Greg Landry (1970-73).

Garcia had one miserable season with the Browns, who signed him before last season. Former coach Butch Davis brought him in to revive Cleveland's offense, which couldn't get going with either Tim Couch or Kelly Holcomb.

But Garcia went just 3-7 as Cleveland's starter and his stay was marked by a public feud with offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie; his criticism of Browns offensive lineman; and a trial involving his girlfriend, a former Playboy playmate of the year, who fought another woman in a bar over the quarterback.

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