The Lions took running back Ameer Abdullah in the second round of this year’s draft in hopes that he could provide them with more offensive punch than they got from recent high picks Mikel Leshoure and Jahvid Best.
Count defensive coordinator Teryl Austin among those who think that Abdullah has what it takes to fulfill those hopes. Austin said Saturday that his unit has found it difficult to stop Abdullah during training camp practices.
“We can’t even tackle that guy,” Austin said, via the Detroit Free Press. “We can’t even touch him. He’s like grasping at air.”
Running backs coach Curtis Modkins took a more reserved stance on his charge, saying that while Abdullah shows “unique ability” there is a difference between impressing in practices and impressing against opposing defenses on Sundays. That’s certainly true and Abdullah says he has “so much I have to improve” before he’ll thrive in the NFL, but the team wouldn’t have used a second-round pick on him if they weren’t confident he could do so.
With Joique Bell still working his way back to practice after knee and Achilles surgeries, Abdullah should get plenty of opportunities in the preseason to show whether his ability to make people miss translates beyond friendly competition with the Lions defense. His first crack comes against the Jets this week, the story went on to say. Abdullah is ranked 30th on our list and is getting drafted around the fifth round. Abdullah probably isn't an every down back but can be productive from a fantasy standpoint in the Lions offense if he takes over Reggie Bush's old role.
Unlike former head coach Greg Schiano, who preferred to give the bulk of the carries to a single back such as Doug Martin, new OC Jeff Tedford plans to use a two- and maybe even three-back scheme that constantly forces defenses to adjust to his personnel.
“When I was at (the University of California) we were always very fortunate to have two very good backs, whether it was J.J. Arrington and Marshawn Lynch or Lynch and Justin Forsett, or Lynch and Jahvid Best or Jahvid Best and Shane Vereen,’’ Tedford said Wednesday.
“We really had a good one-two punch in the backfield there and I think that’s what you need. For one guy to carry the load the whole time, especially as physical as this level is, is a lot. So (we’re looking) to have two and probably three backs that can provide different things for you.’’
We don't have to read between the lines to see that Martin may not get the workhorse-type touches that he received in his first season. Still, he'll very likely be the lead back and hold 2nd/3rd round value heading into 2014 fantasy drafts.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 7:25pm
Best was placed on Physically Unable to Perform on August 27, 2012 and missed the duration of the 2012 season.
Reggie Bush agreed to terms on a four-year deal with the Detroit Lions, the team has announced via its website. The former No. 2 overall pick spent the last two seasons with the Miami Dolphins trying to prove he can be a featured back and now he'll get the chance to take the bulk of the load with the Lions as well.
"Definitely where we are, he definitely would be the missing piece," Lions offensive guard Rob Sims said. "With our aerial attack and he can catch the ball the way we can out of the backfield and some of the other running game stuff we got in place, I think it's tailor-made for him."
Bush will reportedly be given the opportunity to earn "feature back" duties, which could mean big things for him in Detroit. Keep in mind that Mikel Leshoure is a very capable goal line back, so he may vulture some red zone touches, limiting Bush's upside. Bush should be especially good in PPR formats as the Lions tend to throw the ball a ton. At this point, Bush's departure leaves Lamar Miller the favorite to start for the Dolphins.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 9:52am
Who knows what happens with Bush at the end of the day, but plenty of NFL people at the combine believe the Lions will make Bush a primary target in free agency.
It might take $5 million or so a year to land the speedy running back, and Bush's desired destination isn't known. But the Lions' M.O. in recent years has been to try to surround Matthew Stafford with as much talent as possible (drafting Jahvid Best, Titus Young, Mikel Leshoure, Riley Reiff and Ryan Broyles, etc.), and that's not about to change.
Thursday, January 3, 2013, 1:15pm
Lions running back Jahvid Best is only 23 years old, he feels great and yet he cannot get doctors to clear him to return to football, raising doubts about whether he will be cleared to play not only this season, but ever again.
Doctors who have examined him don't want to be responsible for him, which is why none has signed off on him returning to football. It's also the reason the Lions haven't taken Best off the physically unable to perform list, something they have until Nov. 5 to do.
It has been more than one full year since Best suffered his last concussion. He has been recovering, working out, and he said he feels he is ready to return to practice. But doctors and Lions officials do not. Nothing more will change with Best's condition, which is why some now wonder whether he has played his last NFL down.
At this point, Best can be dropped in all but the deepest dynasty leagues.
Detroit Lions tailback Jahvid Best will remain sidelined a year after suffering a concussion and will not re-join the team this week, the team confirmed Monday evening. Best was eligible to be activated from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list Monday, but medical officials apparently have not yet cleared him for contact.
Lions general manager Martin Mayhew issued this statement:
"After today's consultation with medical experts, including representatives from our medical and training staffs, it has been determined that Jahvid will not be permitted to return to play at this time."
Doctors seemed to be on both sides of this decision and unfortunately for Best and fantasy owners, it had to be a unanimous decision for Best to come off the PUP list. For the rest of the season Mikel LeShoure and Joique Bell will likely get the most work in the Lions backfield. Bell could be used more in the passing game, but did get some carries up the gut against the Eagles and was successful. LeShoure will likely get most of the carries and is probably the better play week-to-week, but his value is capped out as a low-end RB2 or flex play in most leagues.
Monday, October 8, 2012, 12:13pm
Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best, who hasn't played since suffering his last concussion Oct. 16, 2011, will be undergoing a battery of tests this week to determine whether the Lions will activate him off the physically unable to perform list, according to sources.
Best has been seeing multiple doctors, and there will have to be a consensus from them before he's cleared to return.
Best is said to be in the best shape of his career, and the team is hopeful it will have him back for the game on Monday night, Oct. 22 against the Chicago Bears.
If you have a roster spot, Best is worth a grab and stash. The upside is undeniable if he is cleared and is in game shape. However, we've now been waiting on Best for a year and wouldn't be counting on any type of production.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012, 11:55am
Lions RB Jahvid Best will have six more weeks — at least — to try to return from the concussion problems that have sidelined him since the middle of last season.
The Lions placed Best on the reserve physically unable to perform list Monday, the most prominent transaction in a busy day as they pared their roster to the 75-man limit.
Best cannot return before the Lions’ Oct. 22 Monday night game against the Bears.
“That’s within the range of where the doctors wanted him to be, so it made it an easy decision — or an easier decision. It’s not an easy decision, but it made it an easier decision,” Schwartz said. “But we’ll just wait and see. Like I keep saying, he’s looked extremely good in all his physical stuff and as soon as we can get him back and get clearance we will.”
Best has been out since Week 6 of the 2011 season with a concussion. Greenwood missed all of training camp after having abdominal surgery. Both players will be unavailable the first six weeks of the regular season. The players can't practice with the team during that time.
Kevin Smith will open as the Lions running back, at least for the first two weeks of the season. Mikel LeShoure is suspended for the first two contests, but is likely to see significant work when he gets back. We'll have to wait and see how that split works out. But for now, Smith is at least a two-week filler and will likely hold value beyond that. Other sources say it very well could be Best doesn't even play this year, so drafting him and holding him in standard leagues doesn't really seem worth it at this point of your fantasy season. Smith is ranked 28th among our RBs entering the year with an ADP of the 8th round, but that's likely to rise with this news.
Friday, August 24, 2012, 11:18pm
Oft-injured Lions RB Kevin Smith on his current health: “Well it’s the best I have ever felt. I’m just taking care of my body and just working hard and just blessed to be in this position health wise. I’m feeling excellent.”
Best continues to struggle in his comeback from the concussions he suffered in 2011. He's undraftable at this point. This is good news for Kevin Smith who will open the season as the team's starting running back.
Lions RB Jahvid Best does not appear to be close to returning to action.
"The only thing I will say is we're measuring Jahvid in weeks, not days," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. "He's not day-to-day A lot of these guys are day-to-day We're measuring his progress in weeks. He's doing very well. He's working very, very hard. He's in supreme condition, and I know this, when he's cleared, he's going to be tough to handle because he'll be ready."
Wednesday, August 1, 2012, 12:40pm
Lions RB Jahvid Best feels great. He is experiencing zero symptoms of post-concussion syndrome — no headaches, no dizziness, no memory loss. He's working out like a demon and is possibly in the best shape of his life.
And the doctors won't let him play.
"That's definitely frustrating," Best said Tuesday as he walked off the field with his teammates following yet another practice he could only watch. "I'm taking tests once a week; I don't even know when the next one is.
All I can do is just wait."
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