Detroit Lions running back Mikel Leshoure left Sunday's home game against the Seattle Seahawks with an apparent right leg injury. A seemingly normal carry in the third quarter resulted in Leshoure getting up with a limp, and he has yet to return to action.
UPDATE: Sunday, November 4 at 1:57 p.m. ET
Troubling news for Lions fans and fantasy owners as Mikel Leshoure reportedly limped off the field today against the Jaguars and as being looked at by trainers on the sidelines, according to Detroit Lions Insider Tim Twentyman.
Leshoure limping after that last run. He's getting looked by trainers on the table right now— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) November 4, 2012
The good news is that Leshoure later returned to score a touchdown on the same drive.
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UPDATE: Sunday, November 4 at 11:44 a.m. ET by Ethan Grant
Leshoure was absent from practice earlier in the week for personal reasons, and he's absent from the team's inactive list as well, according to CBS Sports' Lion report.
#Lions inactives:LB DeAndre Levy, S Louis Delmas, S Amari Spievey, T Jason Fox, T Corey Hilliard, QB Kellen Moore, WR Brian Robiskie.— Lions RapidReports (@CBSLions) November 4, 2012
If you were worried about Leshoure's status as the starter on Sunday, don't be anymore. Get him in your fantasy lineups quickly as Detroit has a very favorable matchup this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
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UPDATE: Thursday, November 1 at 12:07 p.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
After missing yesterday's practice for personal reasons, Mikel Leshoure is back at practice as expected, according to Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett.
He's fine. Like I said, he had a personal day yesterday RT @ericranes: Leshoure?— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) November 1, 2012
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UPDATE: Wednesday, Oct. 31, at 1:40 p.m. ET by Ben Chodos
Mikel Leshoure's absence at the Lions' practice today had nothing to do with injury.
Paula Pasche of The Oakland Press reported that Leshoure is healthy and will be back at practice tomorrow.
#Lions Mikel Leshoure not injured, has personal day today. Will return Thur, per Jim Schwartz— Paula Pasche (@paulapasche) October 31, 2012
This is excellent news for Detroit as the team's offense has been woefully unbalanced this season. A solid performance from Leshoure would greatly benefit the team.
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Beat writer Paula Pasche of The Oakland Press broke the news that Leshoure was being evaluated on Twitter:
#Lions Mikel Leshoure getting right leg examined.
— Paula Pasche (@paulapasche) October 28, 2012
The 2011 second-round pick had 10 carries for 46 yards and three catches for nine yards before he was hurt.
Leshoure missed his entire rookie season due to injury, and off-field issues had kept him from seeing playing time early this year. But he has recently emerged as the definitive starter and has brought some semblance of balance to the Lions' offense.
Who's the Backup?
Joique Bell will take on the bulk of the carries without Leshoure in the lineup. Teammates call Bell "The Finisher," but the way he tried to finish off a particular run in Chicago in Week 7 largely cost the Lions a chance to beat the NFC North rival Bears.
With seven carries for 25 yards on the day, it doesn't seem as though Bell will have the impact that Leshoure has had on the Detroit running game.
Devastation Scale: 8 Out of 10
Leshoure has brought a spark to the rushing attack that no back had in a long time. Jahvid Best was explosive when he was able to stay healthy, but concussion issues have unfortunately kept him off the field for the past year or so.
With his receiving ability and thick frame also able to hold up in pass protection, Leshoure brings the whole package of a featured back to the table.
That will be hard for Bell, Kevin Smith or any other Lions back to adequately replace.
Timeline for Return
It's still yet to be determined how long the injury will keep Leshoure out. The Lions are up 28-24 very late in the fourth quarter, and he has not returned since coming up limping earlier on. There would have been no reason for the team to put him back in harm's way, and apparently it worked out this week.
Stay tuned for more on the emerging Lions running back's status.