In the past three years, Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best has suffered four concussions, and has yet to find a doctor that is willing to clear him to return to the field. By all appearances, his playing days have come to an end.
With no medical clearance in the foreseeable future, there’s a good chance that Best has played his last snap in the NFL. Although the former first-round pick was holding out hope that he could make a recovery, Best’s pair of concussions in 2011 seems to have put his football career to bed.
His history with concussions dates beyond his playing days at the professional level, though. During his final game at Cal, Best suffered a serious brain injury after thumping his head on the turf.
Despite the setback, the Lions still decided to trade up into the first round in order to land the scat-back at No. 30 overall during the 2010 NFL Draft. During his first year on the field, Best displayed explosiveness, especially in the passing game. He caught 58 passes for 487 yards and two touchdowns, including a 75-yard scamper. Best struggled in the ground game though, managing a measly 3.2 yards per carry on 171 attempts.
With Best likely out of the picture, the Lions will have to go to the running back well again during the 2013 NFL Draft in hopes of finding another speedster to complement bruiser Mikel LeShoure. Especially since head coach Jim Schwartz and the rest of the Lions coaching staff are leading the Senior Bowl’s South team, they will have several opportunities to scout potential replacements.
What once was a promising young star has quickly become a waste of potential. On a larger scale, Best has become the poster child for the NFL’s campaign to cut down on concussions. I don’t think that was the way he saw his football career playing out.