Jahvid Best is still property of the Lions, but he hasn't played in a game in 17 months. Numerous concussions have left him on the sidelines and although he says he feels good and is symptom-free, he has yet to gain clearance from an independent neurologist to resume full-contact practices. He has been encouraged by teammates such as Nate Burleson to retire, and head coach Jim Schwartz has said Best is not in their plans for this season. But Best isn't ready to give up yet. He told the Baltimore Sun on Sunday that he is still focused on making a comeback.
"It's tough," Best said. "I don't know what the future is going to hold for me. 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 just turned 24 in January, and we know he is a quality dual-purpose back. But discussing his skill and ability is moot until he gets that medical clearance, and it doesn't seem like that is coming any time soon. If Best is allowed to play in the NFL again, it certainly won't be with the Lions, who signed Reggie Bush last week. In any case, the odds are stacked against Best ever playing another down. He suffered four concussions from 2009-11.