ALLEN PARK, MI - AUGUST 01: Mikel Leshoure #25 of the Detroit Lions go through the daily practice session at the Lions training facility on August 1, 2011 in Allen Park, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
The verdict is in for how long the Detroit Lions will be without running back Mikel Leshoure in 2012 because of a suspension. As first reported by Tim Twentyman, the NFL has decided to suspend Leshoure two games because of his pair of offseason arrests for marijuana possession. Also, Leshoure will be docked two additional game checks, meaning he will not be paid for the first four games of the season (costing him $109,411, according to Dave Birkett).
Although the suspension will keep Leshoure out the first two weeks of the regular season, he will be able to practice during training camp and play during the preseason. The suspension begin Week 1 when the Lions open the season at home against the St. Louis Rams and continue through Week 2 when they travel to San Francisco to play the 49ers.
It obviously isn't a great situation for the Lions to be without Leshoure, but this really could be a blessing in disguise in a sense. With Leshoure recovering from a torn Achilles, many were unsure if he would even be ready for the first week of the season anyway. Now, he will be out until Week 3 because of the suspension, so the possibility of him rushing back is sort of taken out of the Lions' hands.
The NFL will also likely suspend Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley for at least a game or two for his offseason arrests. When that announcement will be made is unclear.