Pro Football Talk is reporting that free agent running backs Shaun Alexander and Cedric Benson "quietly visited with the Lions" today. Both have been free agents for some time now and neither has generated a whole lot of interest from any NFL teams.
Why the Lions would even think about bringing in either of these two backs is beyond me. Alexander is way, way past his best days, and Benson not only has never lived up to his potential on the field, but he's had problems off it as well. Also, the Lions seemed to be set with Kevin Smith, Rudi Johnson, and Marcus Thomas, so it would be surprising if something suddenly changed.
The running game hasn't been as effective as the coaches hoped it would be two games into the season, but I don't really see that happening because of the current running backs. Smith has looked pretty good when he has gotten the ball, which is saying something with how badly the offensive line has played at times. Johnson has struggled and hasn't had much success so far with Detroit, but he's only had one real game to get playing time since he barely knew any plays against the Falcons. Finally, Thomas was quickly brought in after the final round of cuts as the Lions liked what they saw out of him. He's a rookie and the hope was that he would bring something different to the backfield.
It'll be interesting to see if anything develops from these two reported visits, especially if the running game continues to struggle this week against San Francisco. Personally I would be surprised if talk of bringing either Alexander or Benson in gets to a serious level as there is a reason both are still free agents. Then again, it would be a typical Matt Millen move, especially if the Lions start to get desperate going into the bye week if they are 0-3.