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Ben Tate dominated while Arian Foster was hurt last season.
When Arian Foster started the 2011 season injured, the Houston Texans thought they were in trouble. Instead, their backup running back turned out to be one of the better backs in the league, leading the NFL in rushing until Foster's return.
Now, we are currently in an age where almost every NFL team believes that having multiple "good" backs is better than trying to secure a featured back. Somehow, the Texans have lucked into both. While it sounds nice, it won't last.
Running backs have an incredibly short life span in the NFL, and Tate will want to cash in on his success as much and as soon as possible. Teams will be inquiring about his availability, and with his limited experience, the price tag will be relatively low.
Enter the Detroit Lions, who consistently struggled to run the ball last season. Between injuries to Javhid Best and Mikel Leshoure, it's really no surprise.
But Best has been a constant injury risk since entering the league two seasons ago. Leshoure not only has to deal with his injury, but he has a number of arrests to his name as well.
This is a group that needs a leader that knows how to get the job done. Ben Tate showed that he can be that player last season.
He nearly broke 1,000 yards as the backup to Foster, who had over 100 more carries. Tate averaged 5.4 yards per carry on 175 attempts, virtually identical to backs like DeMarco Murray and Fred Jackson.
This is a guy who can definitely give the Lions rushing attack a boost, taking their offense to the next level. With defenses having to stay honest, it will be a lot harder to double- and even triple-team Calvin Johnson. Stafford may not pass for 5,000 yards again, but the Lions might find themselves competing for a division crown.