DETROIT (AP) -- Rookie Zach Zenner, fighting for a roster spot, ran for a go-ahead, 3-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter and the Detroit Lions held on to beat the Buffalo Bills 17-10 Thursday night.
The Lions (3-1) went ahead for a second time after Buffalo (2-2) stopped them on a fourth down only to have the play negated by Ikemefuna Enemkpali's penalty. Buffalo signed the linebacker last month a day after he was cut by the New York Jets because he punched quarterback Geno Smith and broke his jaw.
Buffalo's fourth-string quarterback, Matt Simms, played the entire game and had the ball at his team's 36 with just under two minutes left, but turned the ball over on downs.
Both teams rested starters as expected, choosing not to risk any of them getting hurt a little more than a week before the season begins.
TJ Jones took advantage of a chance to play a lot, especially after another wide receiver was injured.
Jones turned a short pass into a 64-yard, go-ahead touchdown in the second quarter. Jones missed all of last season because of a shoulder injury after Detroit drafted him in the sixth round. The former Notre Dame standout seemed to improve his shot at making the team on the same night one of the other wide receivers competing for a final roster spot left the game with an injured left knee.
Jones made a move to get open on a slant, caught a pass from Kellen Moore and used a burst of speed to split defenders and score. He had a tackle-breaking, 18-yard punt return early in the second quarter shortly after Greg Salas was carted off the field with an injured left knee. Jones had just three catches for 27 yards over the first three exhibitions.
Besides getting banged-up players such as running back LeSean McCoy healthy, the Bills' concerns include kicker Dan Carpenter. He made 90-plus percent of his field goals the previous two years with Buffalo, but the veteran of seven NFL seasons is struggling to find his form this preseason. Carpenter hit the right upright on a 40-yard field goal with a chance to break a 10-all tie in the third quarter.
The Bills did have at least one highlight-worthy play in what was otherwise a ho-hum game. Linebacker Merrill Noel hit a leaping Jeremy Ross onto his back, sending the football into the air and the arms of cornerback Ron Brooks, who raced 81 yards down the sideline for a touchdown to give Buffalo a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter.