Right now the running back situation for the Detroit Lions is about as befuddled as it can get. Jahvid Best is out with a concussion, with no return date set, Mikel Leshoure is suspended until Week 3, Keiland Williams has never been a go-to guy in the backfield, and Kevin Smith seems to always be injured. Options? Limited.
The Lions will have to either look to the free agent market, or possibly make a trade. No matter which way they go, they really only have a couple of viable options.
There are some free agent running backs available, — the most notable being Ryan Grant and Joseph Addai — but reports are that Lions general manager Martin Mayhew is leaning more towards finding the back he wants through a trade.
There are a few backs who could be on the outside looking in on their respective teams, but the one that seems to possibly make the most sense is the Denver Broncos‘ former first-round draft pick, Knowshon Moreno.
Denver took Moreno with the 12th pick in the first round of the 2009 draft, and although he’s shown flashes of the greatness he displayed while at Georgia, the bulk of his career in Denver has been spent on the sidelines with injuries.
The two big reasons this would make sense for Detroit are, Matthew Stafford…and, Matthew Stafford.
Stafford was the quarterback at Georgia when Moreno was the featured tailback, and the two stars announced their intentions of leaving school for the NFL at practically the same time. The familiarity is always a plus, and then the fact that Detroit is really a primarily passing attack team would mean less burden would be placed on Moreno in terms of numbers of carries.
If nothing else, Moreno could provide a solution until Best is healthy, and Leshoure returns from his suspension, and then the carries could be divided among the three backs. Moreno is also an excellent receiver out of the backfield.
A lot will depend on what players are released this coming Friday, and since Moreno is sitting on the bubble in Denver, Mayhew might not even have to worry about a trade to get him.