Detroit Lions Announce Jahvid Best Is Still Not Medically Cleared to Play

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistOctober 15, 2012

DETROIT - OCTOBER 16: Jahvid Best #44 of the Detroit Lions watches the action from the bench during the NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers at Ford Field on October 16, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The 49ers defeated the Lions 25-19.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Jahvid Best's return to the Detroit Lions has been extremely anticipated in recent weeks, but it appears everyone will have to wait, at least, a bit longer.

The Detroit Lions released this via Twitter on Monday:

#Lions release official statement that Jahvid Best will not be permitted to return to play.

— Detroit Lions (@DetroitLionsNFL) October 15, 2012

The team also supplied a look at the statement on its official website. Here's the bulk of what general manager Martin Mayhew had to say:

After today's consultation with medical experts, including representatives from our medical and training staffs, it has been determined that Jahvid will not be permitted to return to play at this time.

Throughout this entire process we always have placed the highest priority on what is best for Jahvid from a health and safety standpoint. While today's decision is disappointing from a football perspective, we fully and entirely respect and support this recommendation.

Mayhew then states that "Jahvid will continue to work with our medial and training staffs with the hope that he ultimately will be cleared to return to the playing field."

This is discouraging news for Best and the Lions organization. The third-year running back is a dynamic presence when healthy, but his health is a serious concern at this point.

According to Detroit Free Press reporter Dave Birkett, "Best was diagnosed with at least one concussion in college and suffered two more last year, one in the preseason and one in an Oct. 16 game against the San Francisco 49ers." 

The running back hasn't seen the field since that last concussion, leaving his young career in jeopardy.

Although the Lions didn't rule Best's career out, you have to wonder about that at some point. Head injuries should always be taken seriously, especially in recurring cases.

In 22 career games, Best has 945 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. He also has 85 catches for three touchdowns. When he's on the field, his exceptional quickness and agility make him a dangerous open-field weapon.

If you're a fantasy owner who got overeager and stashed Best on your bench in recent weeks, it's probably safe to let him go for now. Even when he does come back, the Lions' recent statement makes it seem like they will handle his workload with kid gloves.

Keep an eye out for updates regarding this young player's unfortunate situation.