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Lions' RB duo hopes dashed, but Leshoure's play a positive

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Posted Oct. 20, 2012 @ 10:32 a.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

The Lions had visions of a strong one-two punch at running back with Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure, but that duo has never played in the same game, even a preseason contest. Best, who suffered multiple concussions in 2011, has yet to be cleared for a return to the field more than a year after suffering a concussion in a loss to San Francisco, one game after a career-best 163 rushing yards in a Monday-night win vs. Chicago. 

Leshoure, however, has started to settle in with Detroit, quickly becoming the club’s featured back after more than a full season on the sideline. He's very much learning on the job, but the Lions liked the improvement he made in the first game after the club's Week Six bye. 

In recent weeks, Joique Bell (5-11, 220) has become the second option in the Detroit backfield, displacing Kevin Smith. One NFL evaluator familiar with Bell gave the second-year back positive marks for his hard-running style, and Bell also has proven he can catch the ball of the backfield. All things considered, he has done nicely with the opportunities he has had. 

However, a Lions' backfield without Best doesn't have quite the game-breaking ability it could have had. Best, said the evaluator, who spoke on condition of anonymity, is a "dynamic football player."

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