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Lions running backs are getting healthier

Lions running back Jahvid Best celebrates 88 yard touchdown run against Chicago Bears in third quarter of NFL football game in Detroit Reuters

The Lions are hoping for better health from their running backs in 2012 after they got just six games out of the Jahvid Best/Mikel Leshoure tandem during the 2011 season.

All of those games belonged to Best, who missed the rest of the campaign after suffering a concussion against the 49ers. Best had a history of concussions dating back to his college days at Cal and he wasn’t able to do much of anything physically after getting hurt last year. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Best has finally gotten clearance to start working out. Schefter’s source tells him that he would be “shocked” if Best wasn’t able to fully participate in OTAs and training camp.

Leshoure tore his left Achilles tendon during an August practice, ending his rookie season before it had a chance to really start. He’s been rehabbing at the Lions facility and feels like he’s making good progress toward a return to the field.

“I’m feeling pretty good when I run,” Leshoure said to Tim Twentyman of the Lions website. “I have no soreness or anything like that – no pain. I’m not full-speed sprints or cuts or anything like that, but just jogging in laps and half-gassers across the field and stuff. It’s building up slowly and I can definitely see progress. I’m 100-percent sure I’ll be ready for the season.”

While that’s good news for the Lions on both fronts, they’ll need to make sure they have insurance in the backfield this season. Kevin Smith had some good moments last season and his return would provide them with a player who will take some of the workload away from both of the rehabbing players.

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29 Responses to “Lions running backs are getting healthier”
  1. tenotnamedmiller says: Mar 7, 2012 10:53 AM

    Just in time for the offseason.

  2. fievel03 says: Mar 7, 2012 10:59 AM

    They need Smith as an insurance policy. There’s still no actual guarantee that either Best or Leshoure will be productive, much less wear a uniform again.

  3. lolb23 says: Mar 7, 2012 11:02 AM

    Mikel Leshoure = Next Steven Jackson

  4. detlions80 says: Mar 7, 2012 11:02 AM

    man, what the lions could do with a decent run game…

  5. sportsmeccabi says: Mar 7, 2012 11:02 AM

    With Kevin Smith and Jahvid Best’s injury history, Mikel Leshoure is a breakout player, in my opinion, for the 2012 season. He’s had a year to come off the torn Achilles, he should be good to go.

  6. golions1 says: Mar 7, 2012 11:21 AM

    Leshoure has no idea if he will be ready for the season and neither does anybody else. Until he can go full speed, if he ever will after the achilles, there is no point talking about progress. As a Lions fan I’m hoping for the best, but realistically, if either of them comes back full speed it will be a bonus.

  7. kosarsmyidol says: Mar 7, 2012 11:41 AM

    Smith and Best are hard to count on given their multiple injuries, and Leshoure is coming back from an ACL tear. Montario Hardesty missed his rookie year with an ACL tear and definitely was not the running back he was touted to be. Here’s hoping that Leshoure does better.

  8. stevincinci says: Mar 7, 2012 11:46 AM

    They should go after Michael Bush. But I hope the Bengals get to him first.

  9. tamvu says: Mar 7, 2012 11:47 AM

    good god, best needs to quit already, i’m surprised this is even a debate. kid’s had how many concussions in less than two years? he’s gonna be a vegetable in ten years.

  10. nineroutsider says: Mar 7, 2012 11:55 AM

    Jahvid Best will quite all of the Leshoure talk. I am a Cal guy, but Best just offers so much more…as long as his concussion issues can be somehow managed. I loved him at Cal and I believe he can do the same in the pros. If Detroit starts running the ball or stopping it on D, watch out!

  11. theoneontheleft2 says: Mar 7, 2012 11:59 AM

    Hmm…you may need some tweaking here. As you note in the article, Leshoure was a rookie last year and was injured pre-season. yet your lead says he started six games. Nope, he didn’t play at all.

  12. theoneontheleft2 says: Mar 7, 2012 12:01 PM

    Ugh, never mind, I just reread that — between the Best and LeShoure, the two made six starts — all Best. Gotcha. Sorry for the incorrect correction.

  13. tbbucs1638 says: Mar 7, 2012 12:18 PM

    Hey kosarsmyidol leshoure tore his achilles not acl, theyre two completely different things! So, wrong comparison

  14. newguy925 says: Mar 7, 2012 12:19 PM

    Leshore ruptured his Achilles, not his ACL, big difference especially when it comes to regaining speed.

    Keep all and draft a utility back in the middle rounds. All three got hurt last year and there’s nothing wrong with competition.

  15. detroitrollin22 says: Mar 7, 2012 12:19 PM

    Mikel Leshoure = Next Steven Jackson

    —————————————————

    Mikel LeShoure= Mikel LeShoure

    He’ll be even better than Steven Jackson, I have no doubts about it.

  16. kungfubillysims says: Mar 7, 2012 12:42 PM

    As soon as I saw the headline I knew there was no possible way it was an MDS post. He would have found a way to put negative spin on the fact that players were getting healthier.

  17. mikewhorio says: Mar 7, 2012 12:43 PM

    —————————————————-
    lolb23 says:
    Mar 7, 2012 11:02 AM
    Mikel Leshoure = Next Steven Jackson
    —————————————————-

    Mikel LeShoure = Next Curtis Enis

  18. kungfubillysims says: Mar 7, 2012 12:44 PM

    Lions players that is

  19. granadafan says: Mar 7, 2012 12:58 PM

    Mikel doesn’t have the threat to go for 6 everytime he touches the ball like Best does. Put the two of them together, and if they can stay healthy, will take a lot of pressure off Stafford. Best makes safeties back off the line some for fear of him running past them.

  20. johnnycash19 says: Mar 7, 2012 1:05 PM

    tamvu says: Mar 7, 2012 11:47 AM

    good god, best needs to quit already, i’m surprised this is even a debate. kid’s had how many concussions in less than two years?
    ————-
    Two. He had one against Cleveland in the preseason and the one against the 49ers. He never had a concussion his rookie season he had two turf toe injuries.

    With that begin said. I wouldn’t want to see Best come back unless he was 100%. I don’t want to see him get his head messed up with these concussions. I hope he comes back and I think he will, but I would be very cautious if I were Best.

    As for Leshoure. I can’t wait to see him play, he only had two or three days of camp before he tore his Achilles. Leshoure said his surgeon said that it was the best he’s done/seen. So that’s encouraging news.

  21. wingz101 says: Mar 7, 2012 1:06 PM

    From what we have seen with Mayhew and Schwartz, the Lions won’t risk starting the season with three backs who ‘might’ be ready to go the distance.

    I expect that they will draft at at least 1 running back in the 3rd or 4th round and they might even look to add another body via free agency – no one significant but at least an upgrade to Morris, Williams and Bell. This team doesn’t carry a FB so its has some extra room for a fourth RB who can dress every game and play ST.

  22. cmutimmah says: Mar 7, 2012 1:16 PM

    Expect a mid round RB drafted this year for added insurance.

  23. cmutimmah says: Mar 7, 2012 1:19 PM

    kosarsmyidol says:
    Mar 7, 2012 11:41 AM
    Smith and Best are hard to count on given their multiple injuries, and Leshoure is coming back from an ACL tear. Montario Hardesty missed his rookie year with an ACL tear and definitely was not the running back he was touted to be. Here’s hoping that Leshoure does better.

    ————————————-

    Not an ACL tear. Achilles. ACL tear would be less concerning to me, believe it or not…

    If Leshoure is 80% what he was in college, he will fit in well with the Lions exposing the soft underbelly of the coverage shell teams put on the Lions most of last season.

    Stafford would be more deadly throwing for 4500 yards with a running game than 5000 without one.

  24. emmonsh says: Mar 7, 2012 1:29 PM

    payton hillis would be cheap. imagine if he got back to wear he was 2 years ago. browns can ruin any1

  25. lionsplayoffs says: Mar 7, 2012 1:33 PM

    Can either of them play Left Tackle or Cornerback?

  26. warhammer420 says: Mar 7, 2012 1:58 PM

    Just look at how explosive their offense was last year with very little rushing attack. If both Best and Leshoure come back healthy… they’ll have a great speed/power run game. Now, to beef up that O-line.

  27. gg213606 says: Mar 7, 2012 2:37 PM

    What about Jerome Harrison? Last I heard, he was going to attempt to come back, even after undergoing brain surgery last year.

  28. detroitcityryda says: Mar 7, 2012 3:38 PM

    Mikel lashoure next James stewart

  29. stevincinci says: Mar 7, 2012 4:23 PM

    detroitcityryda says: Mar 7, 2012 3:38 PM

    Mikel lashoure next Jimmy stewart.

    ————————————————
    Yeah, maybe he’ll be in a Christmas movie, lol.

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