Although Kevin Smith was ahead of schedule with his rehab enough to start practicing during training camp as soon as it opened and to get into a game by the second week of the preseason, it doesn't appear that he will play against Chicago on Sunday. Nothing is set in stone one way or another right now and Smith isn't even on the Lions' injury report, but these comments from Jim Schwartz certainly suggest that it will take some time before Smith is available in the regular season.
"He's had a great rehab and his knee is strong," Schwartz said. "He hasn't had any unexpected problems as far as being sore or anything like that. He just needs to be -- I don't want to say at full speed -- but he just needs to be back and when he is, he will be right back in there."
Jahvid Best is going to be the Lions' starting running back for sure. With Smith likely out, Maurice Morris would step into the backup role and Aaron Brown would be available as the Lions' third running back.
I'm sure this news will spark another debate about Smith and whether or not the Lions should have kept him, so I will just say this right now: Had DeDe Dorsey made the team instead of Smith, would he have even been active this week? Obviously Best and Morris would be since they are the top two running backs with Smith out of the picture, but would Dorsey be active over Brown? I personally doubt it since Brown is expected to get some return work and to be ready to step in as a running back in some third down situations. Dorsey is pretty much limited to being only a running back, so I think he would have been one of the inactives this week.
Arguing about Smith's spot on the roster now is just pointless because he is still here and someone like DeDe Dorsey hasn't even been signed by another team, showing exactly why the coaches kept No. 34. That said, I know some of you will continue to beat this argument into the ground, so I wanted to share my peace now so I don't have to get involved in another pointless debate about Smith.