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Lions not giving up on Mikel Leshoure just yet

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Martin Mayhew isn't willing to give up on Detroit Lions running back Mikel Leshoure just yet.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Spor

Detroit Lions running back Mikel Leshoure carried the ball all of two times in 2013. With the addition of Reggie Bush and the rise of Joique Bell, Leshoure went from being the Lions' starting running back in 2012 to only dressing for a few games a year later.

With Leshoure entering the final year of his contract, there has been some speculation that the Lions could just move on and cut him this offseason. He doesn't seem to have a role in the offense, and although a trade would be preferable, it's unlikely that the Lions would be able to get anything of value for a running back who barely played a season ago.

This could certainly change as the offseason progresses, but for now, it doesn't appear that Leshoure will be released or traded. Lions general manager Martin Mayhew thinks there could still be some kind of role in the offense for Leshoure, and he pointed to the New Orleans Saints as an example of how new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi could use him.

Last week, Jeremy Reisman examined how the Saints distributed carries between their running backs in 2013, and four different guys had at least 53 carries. Bush and Bell will almost certainly get the bulk of the carries for the Lions again in 2014, but perhaps Lombardi will find a role for Leshoure that results in him actually seeing the field.