The Detroit Lions are moving on from Jahvid Best, signing free agent Reggie Bush to fill his role at running back last week.

But Best, a 2010 first-round pick who hasn’t played in 17 months because of lingering concussion problems, told the Baltimore Sun he’s still clinging to the hope that he can play football again.

"It's tough. I don't know what the future is going to hold for me," Best told the paper during a community-service event before tonight’s Ed Block Courage Award dinner. "It's been about a year and a half now, but I'm still working out like I'm playing next week. … I am never giving up hope. I'm staying ready so if the opportunity does present itself, I'll be ready.”

Best missed the final 10 games of the 2011 season, after suffering his second concussion in two months and the fourth of his career in an October loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

He was mostly symptom-free and returned to working out by December. He took part in the Lions’ off-season program last year, and the team expected to have him on the field when training camp started in July.

But team doctors and a panel of concussion specialists never cleared him for contact, and Best, who’s still working to strengthen his memory, sat out all of last year.

Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said not landing a suitable replacement for Best was his biggest failure of last season, and the team made Bush its top free agent target this off-season.