Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 10/30/11

Jahvid Best’s fragile health and the recent proposed trade for Ronnie Brown have made me start to wonder what the realistic options are for Detroit at running back. Matthew Stafford can resort to short passes to substitute for the run, but it would benefit him and the team if he was able to take a breather on occasion. The ability to hand the ball off now and again is a necessity when the team is ahead, after a play when he is pressured or sacked, and when he is not at one hundred percent.

The first name that jumped out at me is Brian Westbrook. The free agent played almost a decade in Philadelphia and was a phenomenal pass catcher like Jahvid Best. His ability to stop and start on a dime would be perfectly suited for the fast turf at Ford Field. During his prime,  he played in the NFC East-which was the top conference in the league. Now it may very well be the NFC North. This means that he is used to facing the best and excelling.

Julius Jones spent seven years in the league with the Cowboys, Saints, and Seahawks. He gained over five thousand yards on the ground and had twenty two touchdowns. Only recently thirty, he still would be a viable candidate for the Lions. His time in Dallas and in college at Notre Dame prove that he enjoys performing on the biggest stages. He also hopped around teams during the last couple of seasons and that proves that he is still hungry to be in the league. Desire is key later on in careers because it takes so much more work to get on the field and be effective. If the drive isn’t there, then the production will fall off a cliff for any given player.

Tiki Barber has run for over ten thousand yards throughout his illustrious career. Some may see all of his off the field trouble as a possible distraction in the locker room. It may in fact create a fire that the team could use after suffering two straight losses. He has proven himself to be a major factor for his New York football Giants. He hasn’t always been the most ideal teammate, but all of that can be put aside if he produces on the field. He doesn’t have to be on Christmas card lists to produce for the Lions.

Kevin Smith is an intriguing option for Detroit. He was already part of the team for a few years before he was released. The athlete out of Central Florida is different from the aforementioned names because he is much younger. Do you remember the contrast between Emmit Smith on the Cardinals verses what he was on the Cowboys? He didn’t even look like the same player. The other candidates have bigger names and more accomplishments, but they may not be able to give Jim Schwartz what a runner in his prime could. Doing nothing will not solve the problem.

How to fix the San Francisco 49ers
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Draymond Green mocks LeBron James after flop

Romo likely to pick team he wants to be traded to

David Ortiz slams door on rumors of potential comeback

JJ Watt said to be ahead of schedule in back injury recovery

Seahawks expect Earl Thomas to be ready for 2017 season


SD moving companies refusing to help Chargers relocate

Brown could be fined for sharing Tomlin's speech on Facebook

Future denies being on Falcons sideline to mess with Wilson

Bill O'Brien refuses to commit to Osweiler as Texans' starter

Report: 'Good chance' Chip Kelly gets offer from Jaguars

Sportsbooks take 'colossal' hit with Cowboys, Chiefs losses

The 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot, Part 1

The week in NFL news as explained by Heart

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The Mulligan: Why Chip Kelly deserves a second chance after the Niners

College coaches on the NFL's radar as the coaching carousel starts spinning

Best of Yardbarker: How to hop on NFL playoff bandwagons

Everything sports fans need to know about the Nintendo Switch

TailGreater: Picking the NFL divisional round games by hometown brews

The sports classic horror villains would play

Guilt-free guide to NFL playoff bandwagon fun

Box Score 1/13: Warming up for the playoff weekend

Complicated feelings for Tyreek Hill, others as playoffs progress

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot, Part 1

The week in NFL news as explained by Heart

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

QUIZ: Name every Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Pro-Bowler in the Super Bowl Era

Best of Yardbarker: How to hop on NFL playoff bandwagons

Everything sports fans need to know about the Nintendo Switch

The sports classic horror villains would play

Complicated feelings for Tyreek Hill and others as playoffs progress

NFL Divisional Round watchablity index

QUIZ: Name the 12 members of the San Diego Chargers in the NFL Hall of Fame

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker