Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/10/14
Philadelphia-eagles

A tough question becomes simple with one small nod from the team doctors.  When the Detroit Lions’ medical crew gives running back Jahvid Best that nod, their backfield issues disappear.

But that just won’t happen soon.  With the ever-increasing concussion crackdown in the NFL, Best’s third such injury may be a death sentence.

With Best not cleared to play, and no timetable set for his return, a void has appeared in the Lions’ backfield.

The void is apparent, but who will fill it is unclear.  Veteran Kevin Smith gave the Lions some good reps as the first back last year, but I doubt his ability to stay full speed for 16 games.

If Leshoure lives up to expectations, the Lions have a solid 1-2 punch

Smith has been nicked up in the past, and the Lions will need other players to be in the picture in order to run the ball effectively.

Second-year player Mikel Leshoure sits in the same oft-injured category as Smith.  Leshoure missed his entire rookie season to an Achilles injury, and now sits on the injured reserve with a bad hamstring.  Leshoure, who will begin the 2012 season by serving a two-game suspension, is a powerful back that could give the Lions a solid short-yardage presence when healthy.  But without a single NFL snap under his belt, questions remain.

Keiland Williams and Stefan Logan have also taken reps with the first team in training camp, but neither provides the answer for Detroit.  Williams doesn’t have the explosion necessary to succeed in Detroit’s system, and at 5’6”, 180 pounds, Logan is a situational scat back who is far better suited on special teams.

Stephfon Green and Joique Bell are rookies to watch, but don’t expect much more than situational snaps from either one in their first season in the bigs.  Both backs have potential, but at this point it’s hard to say what kind of players they will be.

I see it playing out this way: Smith will be the number one back to start the year.  Especially with Leshoure suspended, Smith’s experience will earn him the starting spot out of camp.  Williams will be in the mix in short-yardage situations, with a situational mix of the other backs I mentioned.  Once Leshoure returns from suspension, he will be eased into a timeshare with Smith that will play out throughout the season based upon efficiency.

The Lions boast one of the best passing games in the league, and they will look to move the ball primarily through the air.  The running game only needs to compliment the pass and be good enough to make defenses honor it.  Even without Jahvid Best, the Lions’ rushing attack is good enough to do that.

If healthy, and used effectively of course.  A big “if,” considering the Lions resorted to a free agent to tote the ball halfway through last year.

Follow me on twitter @ScottPeceny

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

VCU G Briante Weber suffers major knee injury in loss

Short selling leaves hundreds of fans without S.B. tickets

Hamilton, Edmonds' spouses to appear on 'Real Housewives'

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix trolls LSU over Kevin Steele hire

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jerome Bettis elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Report: Duncan suing financial adviser, lost $20 million

Bret Bielema wanted Dolphins to draft Russell Wilson early

Nick Diaz apologizes to fans for skipping open workout

NFLPA President compares Goodell to a 2-year-old

NFL explains how Super Bowl balls will be prepped

2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class announced

Anderson Silva beats Nick Diaz in return to octagon

WATCH: 'SNL' mocks Super Bowl

Sabres had a horrific month of January

Ole Miss uses Katy Perry as prop in recruiting

PHOTO: Ezekiel Elliott gets new national title tattoo

WATCH: Rondo takes brutal knee to face from teammate

Pig auctioned off at halftime of college basketball game

Should the Super Bowl be played on a Saturday?

Underwear company shows support for Marshawn Lynch

WATCH: WVU player flips opponent the double-bird

Five NFL players who could be cap casualties in 2015

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2015 Hall of Fame class announced

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

Tim Duncan suing financial adviser?

Five likely cap casualties of 2015

Making the case for NFL co-MVPs

WATCH: Tom Brady sings about balls

Missy Elliott to join Katy Perry at SB?

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.