Originally posted on The Detroit Sports Site  |  Last updated 8/15/13
With training camp and the preseason now underway for the Detroit Lions, we’re putting some positional battles under the microscope with a series of Toss-ups… Training Camp Toss-up, No. 5: Mikel Leshoure didn’t look great in the first preseason game against the New York Jets, while Joique Bell seemed to run harder and have the better moves in the passing game. If Leshoure continues to struggle, should he be considered on the roster bubble given the emergence of Bell? Chris Burke: No. The Lions are going to carry at least three running backs anyway, and Leshoure is a totally different back than either Reggie Bush or Joique Bell. If nothing else, he can help in the red zone and on short-yardage. Now, is he going to be the No. 2 back? I doubt it, the way this is shaking out. Bell can do a lot of the same things (albeit not as well) as Bush — come out of the backfield to catch passes, bounce runs outside, etc. He probably will take carries from Leshoure. Andrew Tomlinson: Mikel Leshoure’s spot on the roster truly could be in jeopardy, but only if Theo Riddick starts to show something for the Lions. Detroit spent picks on both players, but with Riddick being a recently acquired pick the Lions may want to keep him more. Chances of Riddick getting more opportunities than Leshoure to out perform him though are slim. Leshoure has been a colossal failure based on the position they drafted him. It is clear, especially based on last year, that Joique Bell is the Lions’ preference as the secondary back and while Leshoure may stay on the team, it might be a tougher decision than many think. Max DeMara: As of right now, no, but if Mikel Leshoure doesn’t show something soon, Joique Bell should be the second back while Leshoure only gets select carries near the goal line and in short yardage situations. Though camp, Leshoure struggled with focus, as he dropped some passes and had one major fumble. Without better performances now, a player like Theo Riddick could theoretically pass him if he excels when given the chance. If nothing else, Leshoure should be put on notice by Jim Schwartz and staff. The fact that he was still taking snaps in the third quarter of last week’s first preseason game against New York could speak volumes, though.
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