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Artose Pinner Left Out of the Equation

Artose Pinner has been great for Detroit as a starter and while coming off the bench in recent years. Since Kevin Jones arrived in Detroit he has become more of a role player. Jones has solidified himself as the starter, but the role players that see limited playing time are a key factor in the Lions' rushing totals after each and every game. One of the players that has been possibly the best of those role players is Artose Pinner. Pinner is entering his 4th year in the NFL, and continues to improve upon his yardage totals. In 2005, Pinner played in all 16 regular season games, rushed for 349 yards, and also had 3 touchdowns.

With recent signings and draft picks the running back position has gained a significant amount of depth.

RB Artose Pinner, who was unhappy with his role in last year's offense, will struggle to make the roster this season. The three-year veteran and former fourth-round draft choice who once had a ball-carrying role on the team is currently listed as No. 4 on the depth chart. Arlen Harris, who played for offensive coordinator Mike Martz in St. Louis, has solidified his spot as Kevin Jones' primary backup while rookie third-round pick Brian Calhoun will definitely make the roster at No. 3. With Cory Schlesinger and Shawn Bryson handling the duties at fullback, that leaves Pinner as the odd man out. Not that he's too upset about it; Pinner knew his days in Detroit were numbered when the Lions drafted Jones in the first round two years ago.

That's the Sporting News analysis on it. The main move that could prevent Pinner from returning is the fact that Brian Calhoun was drafted. Arlen Harris is very similar to Artose Pinner from the standpoint of experience and also statistically. The stats have been going down rather than up from his first year instead of improving. He had basically the same output in year 1 that Pinner had in year 3. Harris will no doubt be favored by Martz considering that Martz was with him in Saint Louis. Brian Calhoun will make a great impact not only in the return game but in the backfield. Calhoun is an explosive player that can make big plays happen at any time.

Artose Pinner was unhappy last season, and will most likely end up being left off the roster at this time. It would be good for both sides. For the Lions they already have depth at the running back position and don't need an unhappy player complaining about playing time. Also, Pinner would be able to find a new team where he could have more chances to play and have a better role in his own mind.