The Lions signed linebacker Teddy Lehman

The Lions signed linebacker Teddy Lehman, who left for Tampa Bay as a free agent in March but was cut by the Buccaneers on Wednesday.

Lehman packed up his apartment in Tampa, drove home to Oklahoma, got in at midnight and flew to Atlanta at 5 o’clock the next morning.

He was going to work out for the Falcons, but the Lions called and he decided to come to Detroit. He arrived at team headquarters in Allen Park on Saturday and was on the field for the afternoon special teams practice, wearing No 58 instead of his old No 54.

Defensive coordinator Joe Barry said Lehman would play in the middle and on the strong side.

“It’s been pretty wild, a lot of traveling,” Lehman said. “But it’s good to be back. … I feel like never left, man.”

As Lehman spoke to reporters, coach Rod Marinelli, who has brought in several players from the Bucs, his former team, joked: “Your headline for tomorrow: ‘Old Marinelli brings another Tampa guy.’”

Lehman, a second-round pick in 2004, started every game his rookie year, then played only nine games over the next two seasons because of injuries. He played every game last season but had no starts. The Lions let him test the market.

“Once something gets injured and you miss a lot of football, it’s tough to get back into it,” Lehman said. “But I’ve been pretty injury-free for a while, so hopefully I can keep that going and get on the field.”

To make room for Lehman on the roster, the Lions cut linebacker Alfred Fincher.