ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- His injuries took him out. Injuries to others have put him back in.
That's the ironic reality of running back Kevin Smith's career with the Detroit Lions.
A year ago at this time, Smith couldn't even find a NFL team that would invite him to training camp.
"I was trying any way to get on a team, any team," Smith said. "I needed a job to feed my family."
More than likely, Smith will be the Lions' starting running back on Sept. 9 for the season opener against St. Louis.
The two players who were expected to replace him -- Jahvid Best (second-pick pick in 2010) and Mikel Leshoure (second-round pick in 2011) -- now are the ones unavailable, which has opened the door back up for Smith.
Best still hasn't been cleared for contact after suffering two concussions last season. Leshoure, coming off surgery for a torn Achilles, has missed much of camp because of a hamstring injury. He also must serve a two-game league suspension t...