Detroit Lions: Jahvid Best Likely to Open 2012 on PUP List
Entering the 2012 season, the Detroit Lions backfield situation is uncertain to say the least. Well folks, things just got worse. According to Adam Schefter via Twitter, elusive running back Jahvid Best is likely headed to the PUP list to start the season. This comes as no surprise, as Best was never cleared for contact. Last season, Best suffered two concussions in two months, prematurely ending his 2011 campaign. If added to the PUP list, Best would be unavailable for the first six weeks of the season.
Picking a suitor for the Lions starting job without Jahvid Best in the mix is a simple roll of the dice. Mikel Leshoure, the Lions’ second year running back out of Illinois, could wind up being the primary ball carrier in this backfield. Leshoure missed all of last season after tearing his achilles tendon, and is currently working his way into the rotation after suffering a hamstring injury. He is also suspended for the first two games of the season due to two offseason arrests. Reserve running backs Keiland Williams and Stefan Logan are taking practice snaps for the first team, while second year back Joique Bell had the biggest impression on the team. Bell had 16 carries for 89 yards in the preseason opener against the Cleveland Browns. As of now, the starting gig is being handed to Kevin Smith. Smith can be a pretty productive pick as a RB3 or a flex, but even he has health issues of his own.
Going forward, keep an eye on this situation. This job is as up for grabs as much as any job in the league. Will the Lions make a call for Ryan Grant? I think not. I think that the Lions start Kevin Smith while mixing in a little running by committee. I ultimately think this job will be taken over by the speedy Mikel Leshoure. We will most likely see his first action in the Lions’ third preseason game, August 25th at the Oakland Raiders. Fantasy owners, pick up Mikel Leshoure. I said it.