Lions re-sign RB Kevin Smith to 1-year deal
Do the Lions have doubts about the health of running backs Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure?
Maybe, maybe not.
But on Tuesday they found some insurance in the name of Kevin Smith. The 25-year-old running back has signed a one-year deal, per the team’s web site.
The Lions have been optimistic that they will get the Best and Leshoure back. If so, Smith would likely be third on the depth chart.
Best played in the first half-dozen games in 2011, then missed the rest of the season with a concussion. When the season was over there seemed to be no question in his mind he would be ready to play in 2012. He was totally optimistic when he talked to reporters.
Leshoure, a second-round draft pick, missed his entire rookie season after tearing an Achilles’ tendon during training camp. After Stephen Tulloch signed last week, he noted he had seen Leshoure working out — actually running. Obviously a good sign.
Smith seemed like a changed young man when he signed with the Lions on Nov. 7 to help fill the void left by injuries. Perhaps that’s why they re-signed him.
Smith played in seven of the Lions’ last eight games last season, missing one with an ankle injury. He had 72 carries for 356 yards and four rushing touchdowns. He also had 22 catches for 179 yards and three receiving touchdowns.
Smith also started in the playoff game (six carries, 21 yards, two receptions, 20 yards).
The Lions hadn’t re-signed him following the 2010 season. No other team had come calling either, but he kept working out hoping for the phone to ring. He came back hungry and humbled.
Smith was a third-round (64th overall) pick by the Lions in the 2008 NFL Draft.
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