All throughout the summer, Lions General Manager Martin Mayhew has resisted calls to look for backfield help outside the organization.
With Week One fast approaching, Mayhew may be changing his mind. Jason LaCanfora of CBSSports.com reports that Mayhew has been calling other teams in hopes of dealing for a running back. This doesn’t come as any great surprise. Detroit’s running back depth chart features Kevin Smith dealing with an ankle injury, Mikel Leshoure facing a two-game suspension and Jahvid Best on the PUP list because he can’t get cleared after last year’s concussion.
The news suggests that the Lions don’t have any interest in running backs on the open market like Kahlil Bell and Ryan Grant, although Mayhew may be pursuing multiple avenues in hopes of getting another body onto the roster. Names like Knowshon Moreno and Chris Ivory come to mind as trade options since they appear to have fallen out of favor in Denver and New Orleans, respectively. Some Lions fans will likely want to add Maurice Jones-Drew to the list, but there’s no sign that the Jaguars are planning to deal him.
The silver lining for the Lions in terms of their lack of backfield depth is that they have a pretty potent passing attack. Quarterback Matthew Stafford doesn’t sound too worried about moving the ball without much of a running game.
“We’ve been thin at running back before, so we kind of have a decent idea of what our game plan can be,” Stafford said, via Josh Slagter of MLive.com.
In other words, Cortland Finnegan and the rest of the Rams defensive backs should show up ready to work on Sept. 9.