The Lions, who acquired Taylor from the Seattle Seahawks last season for running back James Jones, said they will not appeal the league action, which was based on Taylor's third positive test for substance abuse. Taylor can reapply for admission to the league in a year.
"It's always a shock to find out something like that, and my heart is heavy and saddened. But we have to go on and hope things work out for Terry," coach Wayne Fontes said.
Taylor has been dogged by trouble for most of his seven-year career, which began when he was chosen by Seattle as the 22nd player in the 1984 draft.
Neither Taylor nor his agent, Jack Mills of Boulder, Colo., could be reached by telephone.
The other players banned for life under the NFL's drug program were running backs Tony Collins of the Indianapolis Colts, Charles White of the Los Angeles Rams, Stanley Wilson of the Cincinnati Bengals and Earl Ferrell of the Phoenix Cardinals and defensive ends Dexter Manley of the Washington Redskins and Frank Warren of the New Orleans Saints.
Collins was reinstated this season but was released a week ago by the Miami Dolphins.
In Seattle, Taylor tested positive twice for substance abuse. He was treated once and fought a 1988 four-game suspension in court.
Taylor also had numerous traffic violations and missed court appearances, according to court records. He has no criminal record in Michigan, Oakland County police said.
* REDSKINS: Washington, which saw a defensive back injured in practice for the second straight day yesterday, may re-sign veteran Wayne Davis today.
Safety Clarence Vaughn became the latest casualty when he sprained his knee in practice yesterday. He joined cornerback Alvoid Mays, who twisted his knee in Wednesday's practice, on the sidelines.
Vaughn will be examined again today. Coach Joe Gibbs described Mays as "iffy."
If the Redskins decide that neither player can go Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, they are likely to sign Davis, who was cut at the start of the season. Davis, who has five years of experience with three teams, played eight games last year for the Redskins.
Two other players, linebacker Monte Coleman and wide receiver Gary Clark, missed practice for the second straight day with pulled hamstrings.