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The Lions signed the 38-year-old Akers in April to replace Jason Hanson, who turned 43 last month.

San Francisco released Akers after he slumped during the 2012 season, a year after he set NFL records with 44 field goals made and 52 attempted. He made a 63-yard kick last season _ tying a league record _ but connected on his lowest percentage of field goals since 1999.

He underwent double hernia surgery in February 2012, then aggravated the area during the season when he slipped on the field during practice. He had a surgical procedure this offseason.

“It wasn’t to fix a hernia,” Akers said. “It was core stuff in the pelvis area. They said this it would help relieve stuff, and it has. I feel good.”

And, Akers does not feel threatened by Rugland.

“Does he have talent? Absolutely. Does he know what he’s getting into yet? Absolutely not,” Akers said. “He’s really raw, but his leg is powerful enough for the NFL. The biggest thing for him is, getting experience because he doesn’t have any.”

NOTES: Mayhew answered questions before practice as he does once a year during training camp, and acknowledged there is a sense of urgency for him and coach Jim Schwartz to win. “The heat on the seat kind of varies from week to week,” he said. “Some guys whose seats are real cool right now, they’re going to be hot come January.” … Mayhew also said the Lions made the only choice they had when they released RB Jahvid Best, who hasn’t played since having his latest concussion during the 2011 season. “It just got to a point where it was a virtual certainty that he was not going to play for us this season,” Mayhew said.



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