Earlier this week, we looked back at some of the best running backs in Detroit Lions history. It’s easy to get lost in Detroit’s impressive tailback history. Lions fans have been spoiled with the likes of Barry Sanders, Billy Sims and Doak Walker.
There have been a fair share of failures in Detroit, too, but none more tragic than the shortened career of Jahvid Best. The Lions picked Best with their second first-round pick in the 2010 draft and were immediately rewarded with one of the most electrifying skill players in the league. After feeling things out his rookie year, Best crashed onto the scene in 2011, rushing for 4.6 yards per carry and scoring three touchdowns in his first six games. Unfortunately, a serious concussion ended not only his second year, but his entire NFL career before he hit the halfway mark of his sophomore season.
Lions fans are only left to imagine what could have happened had Best continued to play as Detroit finally pulled themselves out of the league’s basement. Although brief, his time in the NFL was a thrill to watch, and his game-changing speed has been missed on this team since he was forced into early retirement.
But, thankfully, this won’t be the last time we see Jahvid Best playing competitive football. This summer, the NFL will be airing the inaugural season of the American Flag Football League. The league pits the nation’s best flag football teams against squads made from former NFL talent, including Michael Vick, Chad Ochocinco, and, indeed, Jahvid Best. And this isn’t just some casual, exhibition style of play. These players are competing for a $1 million prize.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Best compete in his post-NFL career. Just two years ago, Best ran in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics in the 100 meter event. Running alongside Usain Bolt, Best failed to qualify out of the first round, finishing seventh among nine athletes in his heat.
But this will be the first time we get to see Best play competitive football again. We’ll finally get to see what that rare speed can do when the football is in his hands. It may not be tackle football, but there’s little doubt his acceleration will give him a big edge over his opponents, and best of all, there’s little risk in Best suffering any sort of life-changing injuries.
Beasts of the backfield are back at it, as Jahvid Best & Fred Jackson have joined the #AFFL to compete the $1,000,000 US Open of Football Catch them this June only on @nflnetwork. #USOF #billsmafia #BuffaloBills #DetroitLions pic.twitter.com/wdNts6mx9Q— American Flag Football League (@FlagFootball) April 11, 2018
If, like us, you’re excited to see Best out there playing football again, you won’t have to wait long. Coverage of the American Flag Football League will begin on June 30 on NFL Network.