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Cash filled in as a starter in five games last season while returning after missing the 2003 season with a torn ACL suffered in the preseason. The Lions’ sixth-round draft pick (175th overall) from USC in the 2002 NFL Draft impressed coaches with his quickness and agility during the 2002 preseason and took over the starting left cornerback spot in Week 3. He was slated to be the team’s starting cornerback in 2003 after an impressive training camp before suffering the knee injury. Cash made a large impact on the Lions’ defense in 2002 with his ability to make tackles, especially in one-on-one situations with offensive opponents.
In 2002, Chris finished second on the team in tackles with 117 (82 solos) and according to NFL.com press box statistics, ranked first overall in tackles amongst NFL cornerbacks (88 stops). He saw action in his first NFL regular season game at Miami (9/8) and registered three solo tackles and two special teams tackles.
Chris Cash started first NFL game against the Green Bay Packers (9/22) and registered 10 tackles (seven solos), a pass defense and a fumble recovery. He led the Lions with a career-high 16 tackles (13 solos) against the New Orleans Saints (9/29) in only his second NFL start. He also led the Lions in tackles for the second consecutive week with 12 tackles (seven solos) at Minnesota (10/13), his third straight week of double-digit tackles.
Chris intercepted his first NFL pass vs. New England (11/28) and finished with eight tackles (six solos) and two pass defenses. He also led the Lions with 12 tackles (nine solos) including a tackle for a loss and a pass breakup vs. Tampa Bay (12/15).
By 2003, he signed in as the team’s starting cornerback opposite Dré Bly before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the Lions preseason game against Cleveland (8/23). He was placed on the reserve/injured list on August 25.
In 2004, he played a valuable role as a reserve cornerback, and started five games (three at right cornerback, two at left cornerback).
He led the Lions’ secondary with seven tackles at Atlanta (10/10) while starting his third consecutive game at right cornerback in place of Dré Bly, who was out with a knee injury. He intercepted a would-be touchdown pass in the endzone at the end of the first-half vs. New York Giants (10/24).
Cash, who finished the game with five tackles, started the game at left cornerback in place of Fernando Bryant, who was sidelined with an ankle injury.
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