Running back Kevin Smith is officially coming back to the Detroit Lions. Just minutes after it came out that the Lions and Smith were close to getting a new deal done, Pro Football Talk reported that the two sides had in fact agreed to terms on a new contract.
Kevin Smith returns to the Lions on a one-year deal, per league source.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 27, 2012
Smith originally returned to the Lions during the 2011 season. He wasn't brought back following the 2010 season, but with injuries piling up at running back and Smith finally healthy, he signed a deal for the final eight games of the regular season. In his second game back with the Lions, Smith rushed the ball 16 times for 140 yards and two touchdowns, and he also had four catches for 61 yards and one touchdown. Smith caught the injury bug a week later against the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving and dealt with injury issues the remainder of the season.
This year, the big question mark for the Lions' running backs is health. If guys like Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure are ready to go, the expectation is for them to carry the load at running back. With Smith back, he is somebody who could contribute at the position as well, but he also needs to stay healthy.