James Bryant (FB)
Jahvid Best, despite my earlier calls for calm, appears primed to start the regular season on the Physically Unable to Perform list, and the future of his career is, perhaps, more doubtful now than it has been since his horrific concussion at Cal.
Opinions on Best are wide-ranging, from the possibility that his career is over to the suspicion that he's fine and doctors are being overly-cautious because of ongoing litigation from former players regarding concussions.
I happen to fall in the middle, assuming that Best will play sometime this year, but that he is probably one more good helmet shot from retirement. And even that might be one too many.
At any rate, all we know right now is that Best isn't cleared to play, and it doesn't look like he will be by the time the 53-man roster is set.
That leaves Mikel Leshoure, who is again healthy despite a hamstring injury sidelining him for most of training camp, to lead the way into the regular season. Sort of. Healthy or not, Leshoure won't be playing at all until Week 3 because of his two-game league suspension.
That, in turn, leaves the load for the first couple of weeks on Kevin Smith, who has appeared more than up to the task.
Joique Bell has displayed vision, patience and burst out of the backfield so far in the preseason and is a breakout candidate if he gets the necessary reps.
Stefan Logan appears to be fine after an extremely scary-looking injury against the Ravens, and the Lions are referring to him as "day-to-day." That doesn't say much at this point, but it at least suggests that he's closer to re-joining the active roster than he is to landing on IR.
Nobody really stepped up to take return duties away from Logan, so it would appear that he will stick around for a similar role as last year, but with a little more backfield responsibility.
James Bryant is the most unlikely name on that list, but he has performed well in facilitating (which is to say lead-blocking for) power-running packages and just might be good enough to crack the roster for just that reason.