Jahvid Best Placed on PUP List
During Detroit’s next game, however, the Lions starting running back suffered his second concussion in two months, and word quickly spread in the Detroit community that Best’s season could potentially be over. And those rumors turned out to be true.
The Lions backfield was a big question going into this offseason, and not only because of Best’s injury history. 2011 second round pick Mikel Leshoure missed the entire 2011 season with a torn ACL and the Lions second leading rusher in 2011, Kevin Smith (finished 34 yards behind Best) was an unrestricted free agent. Well Smith agreed to a one-year deal, but Leshoure has had an unfortunately eventful offseason. Cited for two marijuana possession charges less than a month apart, Leshoure will be suspended for the first two weeks of the regular season. But on the bright side, he’s been cleared to hit the field again!
Yesterday, it was announced that Best still isn’t able to participate in full contact and that he'd been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List. Best thinks it’s mostly due to the league’s stricter concussion protocol: “If this was four or five years ago, I probably would have played last season. Now that everything’s under a thin microscope, it takes longer.” It’s undoubtedly a good thing that the league is taking Best’s recovery so seriously, even though you can’t help but wonder how much of his career is going to be taken away from him.
Concussions weren’t something new for Best when he came to the NFL. If it weren’t for a pair of concussions in his junior season (and last season) at California, Best would have most likely been a top 10 to 15 draft pick. But the injury scare dropped him to the end of the first round, when the Lions traded a pair of second rounders to move up and take him at number 30. Upon making the draft pick, head coach Jim Schwartz said, “Some people watch adult videos on their computer, I go to youtube and watch Jahvid Best highlights. That’s what gets me going.”
And it didn’t take long for Best to get going in the NFL. In his second game in the league, Best compiled 232 yards from scrimmage and scored 3 touchdowns in a shootout loss to the Eagles. But a turf toe injury slowed him down the rest of the season, and his sophomore campaign was held to only 6 games because of his concussions.
With the three main Lions running backs all having recent injury problems – Smith also struggled to stay on the field last year, only able to play 3 full games – it would have made sense for the Lions to go after someone like Michael Bush or Mike Tolbert, but the money just wasn’t there. Ryan Grant and Cedric Benson are still out there and could be some extremely valuable insurance for the Lions if the right price can be found. The Lions ran the ball less than any team in the league last year and if that continues to be a trend, the passing game may struggle with it.