The Detroit Lions approached last season with the belief running back Jahvid Best would be medically cleared to play again.
That belief was so strong, Detroit did not draft any running backs - or sign someone in free agency - to possibly replace Best last offseason. Unfortunately, for the Lions, Best was never cleared, and Detroit's run game lacked explosive plays in 2012.
The Lions are not willing to let that happen again.
Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz and his staff are currently evaluating college talent at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. When asked if Detroit would have to approach this offseason as if Best would not play this season, Schwartz said that was the strategy.
"I think that's a factor for sure," Schwartz said. "I don't know that it's different than any other position. There's a reason we have a backup quarterback, and it's not because we don't have confidence in Matt (Stafford). Matt has played pretty much every game the last two years, other than the overtime in Tennessee. It's because you have to be prepared for all those situations. It's tough to do now. It's tough to do with the resources that you have.
"You can't have, I don't want to say a quality backup, but you can't have Pro Bowl players backing up every single position. You don't have enough salary cap money, you don't have enough draft picks. It's not feasible to be able to do those kinds of things, but I think, particularly with a guy like Jahvid, what he's been through, that's definitely there."
Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz approaching offseason without Jahvid Best in team's plans
Michigan Live | Feb 21