Throughout the offseason, all signs pointed to running back Jahvid Best being cleared for contact in time for the start of training camp. Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew expected it to happen, but doctors have not yet signed off on Best returning. As a result, he remains on the PUP list, and there's no telling when he will be removed and allowed to practice.
This morning, Mayhew met with the media and admitted that he's surprised and disappointed that Best hasn't been cleared since "everything was trending toward him being ready to go the first day." Despite the setback, Mayhew does still expect Best to be cleared at some point.
MM on Best: "Eventually he will get cleared. I feel very positive and very comfortable saying that. It’s just the question of the timing."— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) July 31, 2012
I'm starting to grow skeptical of just how likely it is that Best returns at all given that he still hasn't been cleared, but the Lions' confidence in him returning eventually is legitimate. I say that because Mayhew admitted that the Lions haven't gotten to the point where they feel the need to bring in extra help at running back as insurance for Best. Mayhew did say that the Lions have had conversations with free agents dating back to March, and if it's necessary to pull the trigger on signing someone, they will be ready. For now, though, they don't feel that it's necessary to bring in any new faces at running back.