One of the biggest disappointments of 2012 for the Detroit Lions was not having running back Jahvid Best. He was unable to get cleared by doctors to return from a concussion that ended his 2011 season. The Lions were optimistic last summer about getting Best back, but it never ended up happening, and the offense suffered because of this.
On Wednesday, Lions general manager Martin Mayhew admitted that the team was not prepared for life without Best in 2012. Mayhew called the lack of a backup plan for Best "probably the biggest mistake" that he made in 2012, and he doesn't plan to make that same mistake this year. From the Free Press:
"Probably the biggest mistake that I made last year was counting on Jahvid Best to come back," Mayhew said. "And it's no knock on him. He did everything he could to get back.
"But based on the information we were getting, medically, I felt very comfortable he was coming back. We did not have a real plan to replace him, and all of the information that we had acting in real time was that he would be back."
Mayhew also said that he's not inclined to think that this situation is going to work out, and he's not inclined to rely on Best's return this year. In other words, the Lions are going to operate under the assumption that Best won't return in 2013 and beyond. This means they will be looking to add a player similar to Best either through free agency or the draft. They have a pretty good duo at running back right now with Joique Bell and Mikel Leshoure, but ultimately it would be beneficial for that to become a trio with a speedy back similar to Best.