As the Detroit Lions begin the 2012-2013 preseason training camp schedule, one of the most glaring questions haunting the team is the health concern of running back Javid Best and his issues stemming from a series of concussions. Those issues appear to have lingered on, as Best was placed on the "Physically Unable to Practice" list on July 27.
Best, and the Lions, had hoped he would have been medically cleared as training camp commenced on Thursday, but other contingencies are being put in place, in the event he is not ready to perform by Week 1.
A third-year veteran out of California, Best was taken out of the Lions' plans, last season, as a second concussion ended his 2011 season prematurely. After a reported earlier battle with a similar incident in college, the prospect of Best's viability in the Lions' potentially high-powered offense appears limited, at most.
In his absence, last season's other injury-prone standout at the position, Kevin Smith, and the still unproven, Mikel Leshoure, who found himself in the midst of a tumultuous, marijuana-induced controversy, will share additional repetitions.
If Best cannot return to training camp before the opening week of the regular season, he will be forced to miss additional time, causing a devastating hardship to the Detroit offense. In two seasons, Best has played in 22 games, totaling 945 yards on 255 attempts, for a 3.7 yard-per-carry average. At 5'9," the 199-pound tailback is considered one of the National Football League's most prolific runners, when healthy. His quickness is an asset the Lions desperately need, both to facilitate an efficient ground game and to take undue pressure off the immensely-talented passing attack of quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson.
This has been another link in an incredibly sad chain of events the Lions have been shackled with this offseason. At some point, one has to wonder if the overall tone being set will be too much to overcome. Only time will tell if Best will be able to recover from his cantankerous bouts with concussions. The waiting, however, is the hardest part - especially for Lions' fans.
The author, D. Benjamin Satkowiak, is a successful entrepreneur and published, freelance author, who has tailored works on various sports, health and fitness topics. He currently serves as a Yahoo! Contributor Network "Featured Contributor" and writes on the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions, Great Lakes Loons and Notre Dame football.
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