The Lions expect to have running backs Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure back on the football field when they begin offseason workouts in the spring.
Best missed most of the season because of concussions and Leshoure was lost in training camp to an Achilles tendon tear.
Both players are on schedule with their rehab, but Lions general manager Martin Mayhew says the team is formulating a contingency plan in case things don’t go according to plan.
“Running back is kind of a tricky position for us right now, because we could have an embarrassment of riches there; if Jahvid is back at 100-percent and Mikel is back at 100-percent and we’re hitting on all cylinders, we got a pretty solid group,” Mayhew said.
“On the other hand, neither one of those guys is playing football right now, or able to play football right now, as far as I know, so it could be a situation where we need to address it.”
Best, a first-round pick in 2010, has had health issues in each of his first two seasons (turf-toe injuries as a rookie).
“I think, at some point, Jahvid and a doctor or a group of doctors will say he can come back,” Mayhew said. “And at that point, we’ll be glad to have him.
“He’s still being evaluated by people but we’re very optimistic with the preliminary reports.”
Leshoure, a second-round pick in 2011, is coming off a major injury.
Mayhew expects Best and Leshoure to join the team for offseason workouts, but he’ll also have a plan in place to sign or draft another running back if there’s a hiccup along the road to recovery.
“We’ve got time to make those decisions,” he said.
Backup running backs Kevin Smith and Maurice Morris will be free agents in March when the league season begins. Keiland Williams and Joique Bell are under contract.
Tags: Jahvid Best, Joique Bell, Keiland Williams, Kevin Smith, Martin Mayhew, Maurice Morris, Mikel Leshoure
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