Barring a setback, the Lions will get a chance to see running back Mikel Leshoure in game action on Saturday for the first time since drafting him.
“I’m really excited for him,” offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “It’s been a long road to get on the field and we’ll see how much he plays and how much work he gets, but I think everybody’s excited and nobody more than him to get out there.”
Regardless of how well Leshoure’s Achilles and hamstring hold up to playing against the Raiders, the Lions won’t have him in the lineup during the first two weeks thanks to a suspension. And it continues to look like they won’t have Jahvid Best available either.
The Lions say they haven’t made any decisions about Best’s status in regard to the physically-unable-to-perform list, but it sounds like they aren’t far away from making good on last week’s report that Best will start the year on that list. Coach Jim Schwartz said Thursday that Best is working hard and doing great with rehab, although he admitted that the only route to full clearance for Best at this point might be time.
“Particularly with concussions, time is always beneficial,” Schwartz said. “We’ve seen that with a lot of other guys that have come back and that would buy us time if we had to cross that hurdle.”
Given how long it has been since Best’s concussion last October, it would be quite a surprise to see them use one of their 53 roster spots on the running back if he hasn’t been given the green light for contact by cutdown day. That isn’t too far off and that’s why we still expect to see Best on the PUP list come the start of the regular season.