According to a report from Adam Schefter of ESPN, there’s a good chance they’ll be waiting a good bit longer. Schefter reports that Best, who has yet to be cleared to resume a full workload after a concussion ended his season in October, is likely to start the season on the physically-unable-to-prepare list. If that comes to pass, Best won’t be eligible to practice until the team has played its first six games.
That’s a very different timetable than the Lions put forth for much of the offseason. There was talk of Best being cleared for contact in June which then shifted to the start of camp and the last we’ve heard is that General Manager Martin Mayhew thinks he’ll eventually be given the medical go-ahead. While there wasn’t much point in pushing Best back into contact work early in camp, the continual delays in clearance and gloomy reports about his condition make you wonder if things have shifted from when Best comes back to if he comes back at all.
Placing Best on the PUP list to start the season would guarantee that he goes more than a year without participating in football activities. He’d then have a few weeks to get himself into game shape without the benefit of any preseason action to help re-acclimate himself to the game. That might be their best chance of getting something out of Best this season, but it hardly seems like the ideal way to bring back a player who can’t find a way to make those red flags hovering over his head go away.