After missing the past five games due to concussion-related issues, Lions RB Jahvid Best will be placed on injured reserve, the team's website reported Friday.
Best suffered his most recent concussion in the second half of the Lions' Week Six loss to San Francisco. He had an earlier concussion in training camp. The second-year player also went through a number of concussion-related issues during his junior season at California.
Best had been considered week-to-week since his latest injury, but the team remained cautious in handling their premier running back.
Despite his extensive missed time, Best continues to be the team's leading rusher with 390 yard and a 4.6-yard average. He also has 27 receptions for 287 yards.
Since Best was sidelined, the Lions have tried to fill his spot with a succession of running backs, including Maurice Morris, Keiland Williams and Kevin Smith. Smith had 201 rushing-receiving yards and three touchdowns against Carolina in Week 11, his second game since being re-signed, but he suffered an ankle injury early in the second quarter of the Thanksgiving Day loss to Green Bay and didn't return.
Last season Best suffered two turf-toe injuries that limited his effectiveness most of the season, although he was able to play in all 16 games.
The way we see it
The loss of Best for the remainder of the season, while not a huge surprise, is damaging to the Lions' offense, particularly if Smith's ankle injury forces him to miss any games. The Lions can only hope that Best is able to recover from the series of concussions and return healthy in 2012.