Mikel Leshoure in Lions starting lineup

AP

The Lions have waited 18 regular season games and one playoff contest for a chance to see running back Mikel Leshoure in a game that counts, so it makes sense that they aren’t going to waste any more time.

The 2011 second-round pick will start against the Titans on Sunday after an Achilles injury last year and a two-game suspension this year have kept him from making his NFL debut. The Lions said all week that they had big plans for Leshoure now that he’s eligible to play in a game, with hopes of boosting their average of 82.5 rushing yards per game and 3.8 yards per carry in the first two weeks.

It should be a good day for running back storylines in Nashville. In addition to Leshoure’s debut, you’ve got the continuing saga of Chris Johnson to keep your interest. Javon Ringer is inactive once again, which should mean plenty of work for the man the Titans hope can start resembling CJ2K once again.

Leshoure isn’t the only Lion making his first start of the 2012 season on Sunday. Cornerback Chris Houston is also starting in Tennessee after missing the first two weeks of the season with a sprained ankle. Bill Bentley, who missed last week’s game with a concussion, will be starting on the other side of the field. That’s a nice change for a Detroit secondary that’s been hit hard with injuries, although they will be without safety Louis Delmas and cornerback Jacob Lacey.