If you believe in football religion, and a higher pigskin deity that presides over our wishes and desires from September until February each year, then it’s becoming clear that your belief system excludes the Lions. The football Gods hate the Lions, yearly using every ounce of force in their mystic powers to ensure the Motor City continues to field a sub-.500 team.

We still think that this year will finally be the exception, and although they won’t make the playoffs Detroit will continue to progress as a young and blossoming team. But the continued fight against injuries at the hands of the football eyes watching from high above is troubling.

Lightning struck again today. Rookie wide receiver Titus Young  injured his hamstring during just the second day of Detroit’s training camp, and finally returned to practice yesterday. Optimism was high, and then this happened Monday…

That’s Chris McCosky of the Detroit News. He later spoke to Lions coach Jim Schwartz, who denied that the Boise State second-round pick had suffered a setback, but Young’s demeanor and clear limp suggested otherwise.

In an offseason in which rookies are already at a disadvantage because of the lost practice time due to the lockout, Young’s continued absence means the Lions are left to move forward without yet another key player, and another 2011 draft pick.

The Lions selected defensive tackle Nick Fairley with their 13th overall pick, and he’s been out since Aug. 3 with a broken foot. Luckily he’s expected to return in time for Detroit’s regular season opener on the road against Tampa Bay, but the same can’t be said for running back Mikel Leshoure, the Lions’ other second-round pick who is out for the season with a torn Achilles.

For those keeping score at home, that means all three of Detroit’s top picks last April have been sidelined with serious training camp injuries. Toss in the lingering but not serious concussion Jahvid Best suffered Saturday night and Calvin Johnson missing time with a shoulder injury, and the legend of the Lions curse is growing in a city that smells like dog poop, but had plenty of reasons to be excited just a few weeks ago.