Martin Mayhew Hopeful Jahvid Best Will Return To Lions Next Season

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 10: Jahvid Best #44 of the Detroit Lions celebrates his third quarter touchdown while playing the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on October 10, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 24-13. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

There has been a lot of talk as of late about the future of Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best, who missed the final 11 games of the season (if you count the playoffs) after suffering his second concussion in a span of a couple months. He has had a history of concussions, and that's never good news for any player, let alone a running back.

I suppose the one positive right now is that everybody is optimistic about Best's chances of returning. Best himself has said he will "definitely be back," and Jim Schwartz is optimistic that Best will return in 2012. Lions general manager Martin Mayhew echoed their thoughts earlier this week.

"I think, at some point, Jahvid and a doctor or a group of doctors will say he can come back," Mayhew said. "And at that point, we’ll be glad to have him."

"He’s still being evaluated by people, but we’re very optimistic with the preliminary reports we have," Mayhew said.

With concussions, there is never a sure thing. Just look at Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby, who has had the last year of his career taken away from him because of a concussion. He did return in November, but he lasted only two weeks before the symptoms came back, and he hasn't played since then.

For Best, even if he comes back, there will be a risk of suffering another concussion, but that really goes for any player no matter what their history is. The one good thing now is that most people close to the situation feel that Best will return in 2012. There isn't much talk of him retiring or anything like that, nor is there talk that he hasn't even gotten to the point where he can work out. I think Best is progressing, and although he may have a ways to go before being able to take hits, the good news is everything appears to be on the right track as of right now.

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