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Jahvid Best still hasn’t been fully cleared

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In October, Lions running back Jahvid Best suffered his latest concussion.  Six months later, he has yet to receive the green light to return to the football field.

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports that doctors have not yet given Best full clearance.

Best has been cleared to work out, something he’s been doing since December.  And he’ll be present for the start of the team’s offseason program on Monday, since for the first two weeks it consists exclusively of working out.

“We’re just waiting on final clearance with Jahvid,” G.M. Martin Mayhew said.  “It’s not like a hamstring where it’s a certain amount of time and a guy’s going to be ready.  With the head you have to be careful and be smart.  We’re not doing anything right now.  There’s no need to rush to judgment on Jahvid’s situation.  So we’re very optimistic.  He’s doing very well.  He feels great.  He’s training right now and we’re looking forward to him being cleared.”

The problem is that Best eventually will suffer more blows to the head, given the position that he plays.  Even if the league were to outlaw between now and September helmet-to-helmet hits on ball carriers (that change could come eventually), Best carries the NFL’s scarlet letter.  No matter what the league says or does, defensive players will realize that the most effective way to prevent a player with uncanny skills from taking a swing pass and sprinting 80 yards untouched to the end zone will be to give him another concussion.

They may no longer be saying it, but it’s impossible to keep them from thinking it.

Those sentiments now make many a little squeamish in the wake of the Saints’ bounty scandal and the Gregg Williams “kill the head” audio.  Still, even if that mindset eventually is removed from the sport, it won’t be disappearing before Best suffers his next concussion.

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35 Responses to “Jahvid Best still hasn’t been fully cleared”
  1. eastsideballa says: Apr 14, 2012 6:19 PM

    We can use Jahvid just as a 3rd down back, I think the reason why he took so many blows is because we had Jahvid in almost every play when he was healthy last year and our OL could never open a hole for him so he was constantly banging his head into Raiola/Backus’ ass.

  2. 4evrnyt says: Apr 14, 2012 6:22 PM

    I get the feeling he just isn’t made for this sport. Just because you have the talent and speed to run with a ball doesn’t mean you body can actually handle the hits of this particular sport. Frankly I see RB’s take head hits all the time, it’s part of the position but the fact the Best has already had this much trouble means he always will and frankly never should have been drafted in the first place since he’ll be out of the league probably before the end of the next season.

  3. snoilog says: Apr 14, 2012 6:24 PM

    Jahvid retire, don’t be a byproduct of head injuries

    Just ask Al Toon of the Jets

  4. coleman121280 says: Apr 14, 2012 6:26 PM

    glass joe = jahvid best

  5. jameslongstaffe says: Apr 14, 2012 6:32 PM

    The vast majority of players will be fully able to resume their careers after proper management, with the occasional career cut short as a result of repeat concussions… not unlike suffering a career ending knee injury, you don’t wish it on anyone but it is football & there are risks/luck involved. This will NOT be the end of football, nor does the game need to worry. The days of smelling salts are over, & the league has done the best it can to learn from the past. There is/was no conspiracy, & there is nobody to blame but the game itself…

  6. canetic says: Apr 14, 2012 6:33 PM

    It’s not worth it. Call it a career and move into coaching or management.

  7. blacknole08 says: Apr 14, 2012 6:45 PM

    Jahvid Best had concussion issues before he was even drafted by the Lions. He is such an exciting player to watch but he may want to rethink about a life outside of playing football. I wish him the best with his recovery.

  8. ctiggs says: Apr 14, 2012 6:52 PM

    He will be the next in line to sue the NFL over concussions.

  9. shieldsisland37 says: Apr 14, 2012 6:55 PM

    In all the movies, getting hit in the head again will fix whatever the first hit caused. So yea, do that.

  10. bodester says: Apr 14, 2012 6:58 PM

    =====
    The vast majority of players will be fully able to resume their careers after proper management, with the occasional career cut short as a result of repeat concussions… not unlike suffering a career ending knee injury, you don’t wish it on anyone but it is football & there are risks/luck involved. This will NOT be the end of football, nor does the game need to worry. The days of smelling salts are over, & the league has done the best it can to learn from the past. There is/was no conspiracy, & there is nobody to blame but the game itself…
    =====

    Are we reading the same article? Conspiracy?!? The end of football?? Huh??

  11. reppster says: Apr 14, 2012 7:04 PM

    He’s fun to play with in Madden at least!

  12. k0mbucha says: Apr 14, 2012 7:11 PM

    Not a Lions fan, but I would like to see Javid able to continue his career with further injury. It’s going to be a tough battle for him to continue concussion free since he’s been suffering from them since college plus to add salt to the wound once a player suffers from one concussion he is more susceptible to recurring concussions.

  13. lions4life says: Apr 14, 2012 7:13 PM

    Finally a well written article Mike. With all these lawsuits we will see more of this where the NFL covers their ass.

    All the best to you Jahvid.

  14. decon49 says: Apr 14, 2012 7:14 PM

    Niners D hits hard

  15. rodgy10 says: Apr 14, 2012 7:17 PM

    Outlaw head hits on ball carriers? Impossible, if a running back is going up the middle his head will eventually get hit. Many of the people that read this site have played football, including myself (4 years college ball), if you have the ball, your head will get hit. The game will be terrible if they flag this.

  16. chargrz says: Apr 14, 2012 7:23 PM

    Put a fork in him. He’s done!

  17. jimmysee says: Apr 14, 2012 7:27 PM

    It’s great to see the Loins exercising great care here.

  18. lks311 says: Apr 14, 2012 7:48 PM

    He’s had three concussions. The last two on hits that were outrageously benign when viewed relative to other NFL collisions.

    I’m a Lions fan, but, I would advice him to retire for his long term health. Yet, if I’m Jahvid Best, I’d always wonder if I didn’t give it one more shot, because in the open field…the man is special.

  19. fumblenuts says: Apr 14, 2012 7:50 PM

    Exciting player to watch run the ball. However, this game is not worth your long term health at this point.

    Lions should try and draft RB Lamichael James.

  20. dewalt2990 says: Apr 14, 2012 7:55 PM

    It should be noted Jahvid never had a concussion in his rookie season. Even after all of his incidents in college.

  21. johnnylion2 says: Apr 14, 2012 7:57 PM

    Alex Karros has Jahvid Best on speed dial.

  22. jameslongstaffe says: Apr 14, 2012 8:01 PM

    Hey bodester, we are probably on different wavelengths… increase your frequency sir

  23. caseyanthonymunoz says: Apr 14, 2012 8:21 PM

    He’ll be suing the NFL any day now.

  24. cityclub13 says: Apr 14, 2012 8:31 PM

    The three headed monster that is the Lions RB’s can be unstoppable if Best and Lashore are 100%. Kevin Smith is great value if he continues to play hard. Draft OL!

  25. butkus54 says: Apr 14, 2012 8:40 PM

    from a Lions fan … this is an especially tough one. Jahvid Best is doing what he loves and it would be hard to walk away from that. I’m sure he knows the risks of continuing to play. Florio says that his next concussion is inevitable and who knows for sure , he may be right … or Jahvid could go on and have long and successful career without suffering another concussion. The only one who can make that decision is Jahvid himself. I would say keep playing if thats what you want to do, but at some point you may have to walk away… in the end it’s only a game.

  26. Soulman45 says: Apr 14, 2012 8:40 PM

    THE GREAT DETROIT LIONS is having trouble at RB.
    Best can put on a show when he get running room he is fast but the head is a problem when he was drafted their was doubt and their still is all that can be done is wish him luck the team can really use him.
    The team will likely draft a RB in the 5th or later rounds or UDF they come a dime a dozen with the pass happy NFL the spot devalued now a blocking TE can play the position.

  27. mtheparrothead says: Apr 14, 2012 8:58 PM

    Matt Millen: I had a concussion for three years! That explains it!

  28. largent80 says: Apr 14, 2012 8:59 PM

    We’ll know how optimistic the team really is by whether or not they use a Day 1 or Day 2 pick on another RB. Everything else is just smoke.

  29. woodyg says: Apr 14, 2012 10:30 PM

    Face it. … Detroit & the Lions have sold their souls to the devil just to win more games than they lose.

    As a result, players like Best who won’t last another season, a bunch of pot-heads, & the dirtiest player in the NFL all occupy space on Detroit’s 53 man roster. …. The “Lion experiment” won’t last beyond 2013. Then it will be clean house & try again.

  30. 2ndaryinsanity says: Apr 14, 2012 10:40 PM

    All I can say is Best will have a hard time trying to sue the NFL in 10-20 years….1) he’s the dumba## that keeps playing football, despite the fact he’s had numerous (and severe) concussions dating back to college. 2) He’ll probably forget that he ever played football

  31. lionsfan14 says: Apr 14, 2012 10:52 PM

    Too bad our other RB is a pot smoking f@!% It is a shame that this kid has these issues, he has great talent and hopefully he will be able to utilize it this season, but is health is more important. I hate to think of the Lions drafting another RB in this draft because of more glaring needs, but if they do I really like Doug Martin, but no way we will get him

  32. bdshaffer20 says: Apr 14, 2012 11:07 PM

    This kid healthy is a unreal talent if Crosby can keep playing Ill hold out hope until I hear from him.Not a doctor, not the team.He is the difference of us making noise in the playoffs or one and done.Teams knew Stafford was going to throw it to win.People at the monday night game got to see why you better watch this kid cause he left Briggs and Urlacher with their jocks around their ankles for about an 80 yard TD.IF healthy for a season look out!!!!! He has heart and passion to play I hope he is blessed with a full season.Go LIONS!!!!

  33. kylemc1986 says: Apr 15, 2012 12:01 AM

    Kevin Barnes

  34. joerymi says: Apr 15, 2012 2:50 AM

    [quote]The “Lion experiment” won’t last beyond 2013. Then it will be clean house & try again.[/quote]

    Wishful thinking masquerading as legitimate analysis is the weakest of all commentary.

    Having arguably a top 5-7 QB that is only 23, with the pleasure of throwing to the undisputed top wide-out in the league is hardly the core that lends anyone to believe a rebuild is on the horizon.

    And feigning outrage over marijuana use is embarrassing.

    And as a Lions fan, I have been embarrassed by some of Suh’s actions. But please, with a straight face, tell me you wouldn’t want him on your team. I can always use a good laugh.

  35. randallflagg52 says: Apr 15, 2012 3:37 AM

    bust!

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