Orlovsky returns to Lions as backup quarterback

Dan Orlovsky is returning to the Detroit Lions after agreeing to a one-year deal on Wednesday.

Dan Orlovsky, who spent the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is expected to replace Shaun Hill as the Lions' backup quarterback behind Matthew Stafford.

Derick E. Hingle / USA TODAY Sports

Dan Orlovsky is returning to the Detroit Lions after agreeing to a one-year deal on Wednesday.

Let the jokes begin.

Orlovsky infamously made himself a part of Lions' lore when he stepped on the line in the back of the end zone for a safety six years ago in what turned into a two-point loss to Minnesota.

It was an unforgettable moment in the Lions' 0-16 season during which he played in 10 games and started seven.

Orlovsky said at the time that when he heard the whistle blow on the play, he initially thought there had been a false start or off-sides.

But when he realized what he'd done, Orlovsky admitted he said to himself, "You're an idiot."

He took the words right out of the mouths of many Lions' fans.

But now he's back.

Orlovsky, who spent the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is expected to replace Shaun Hill as the Lions' backup quarterback behind Matthew Stafford. Hill, an unrestricted free agent, recently signed with St. Louis.

Orlovsky, 30, was a fifth-round draft pick by Detroit in 2005 coming out of the University of Connecticut. He was with the Lions for four seasons before leaving as a free agent after the winless season in which he became the butt of jokes because of his safety.

It might seem odd that he's coming back to the Lions under the circumstances, but there's a connection to Detroit's new coach Jim Caldwell. Orlovsky was with the Indianapolis Colts in 2008, Caldwell's final season as coach there.

Orlovsky made five starts that year, including both of the Colts' victories in a 2-14 season that got Caldwell fired.

Ideally for the Lions, he won't have to play, much like Hill didn't have to in recent years. Stafford has started every game each of the last three seasons, but the Lions always knew they had a reliable replacement in Hill just in case anything did happen.

The question now is whether Orlovsky will provide that same type of security.