It has been nine months since Lions running back Jahvid Best suffered his last concussion, but he still hasn’t been cleared for a full return to work.
Coach Jim Schwartz said Thursday, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, that there’s “still a hurdle to go” before Best gets the green light for contact work. While Schwartz also said that there are meetings scheduled with doctors that could get Best final clearance in the next couple of days, Best’s lack of clearance has to be a bit of a concern for the Lions.
We heard that they expected him to get the medical go-ahead in June and Best declared himself symptom-free that month, but it is now almost August and they are still playing the waiting game. While caution is clearly an appropriate course of action to take with a player that has Best’s concussion history, the Lions need to start getting an idea about what he’s capable of doing for them this season. With Mikel Leshoure facing a suspension after a year lost to an Achilles injury, the Lions running game will need a healthy Best in the early part of the season.
There’s been a lot of focus on the Lions’ off-field issues this offseason, but the start of training camp will shift attention to on-field matters. Few of those loom bigger than the big question marks hanging over the team’s running backs.