With Jahvid Best ticketed for a stay on the regular-season PUP list and Mikel Leshoure suspended for the first two games, it's a good thing the Detroit Lions have running back Kevin Smith to pick up the slack. And unlike Best and -- up until recently -- Leshoure, Smith is healthy heading into the season.
"It's the best I have ever felt," Smith said in a local radio interview. "I'm just taking care of my body and just working hard and just blessed to be in this position, health-wise. I'm feeling excellent."
Smith politely sidestepped the question of whether or not the injuries he has suffered in the NFL are a result of the NCAA-record 450 carries he took on during his final season in college. He said he wouldn't connect those dots. But that is the case, whether he likes it or not. UCF head coach George O'Leary wore Smith down as a junior, and it has affected him as a pro. Thus, I'm skeptical that Smith will be able to make it through any NFL season without an injury that costs him games. But right now, he's 100 percent and is the Lions' definite starting running back. He can play on all three downs and is a very tough runner. Smith should be at least a strong flex play to begin the season.