One thing is for certain the Detroit Lions wlll be looking for a player or players to win the kick returner and punt returner positions in training camp and preseason games. Stefan Logan was not re-signed.
Here are five of the top candidates in no particular order:
— Running back Joique Bell returned two kicks last season for a total of 54 yards. But he fumbled one of those returns. He only fumbled once on 82 carries, so he’s mostly sure-handed. He’ll definitely get a look.
— Wide receiver Mike Thomas, who arrived from Jacksonville via trade mid-season in 2012, returned kicks and punts for the Jaguars. To make the roster he’s likely going to have to contribute on special teams.
— Rookie running back Steven MIller tried to make the most of his chances at becoming a returner during rookie minicamp. He’s speedy, small (5-foot-7, 172 pounds), slippery and eager.
— Wide receiver Patrick Edwards did return kicks and punts at the University of Houston. Like Miller, he’s got the speed. Edwards’ problem in 2012 was staying healthy enough to be on the practice field every day. If he can stay healthy he should be in the running. (Shown in photo by Oakland Press photographer Vaughn Gurganian.)
— Rookie Theo Riddick was the primary kick returner for Notre Dame as a freshman. It’s likely one of the reasons the Lions grabbed him in the sixth round. He didn’t participate in return drills at rookie minicamp but coach Jim Schwartz said not to read anything into that.
Others could contribute also. Reggie Bush said he's game, but he hasn't returned punts since he was with the New Orleans Saints. Ryan Broyles was drafted to use in the return game, but for the second straight training camp he will be coming off ACL surgery.