Aug 29, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Detroit Lions running back Mikel Leshoure (25) during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Leshoure has barely seen the field this season, and he hasn’t only himself to blame (well, and maybe Cliff Avril, who laid the hit in practice that tore his Achilles in 2011). Leshoure could have been an ideal complement to Reggie Bush, but he was beat out of that role by Joique Bell. Now he’s just this generation’s Maurice Morris, waiting for an injury so he gets a chance to play. He has taken two snaps with the offense this season, and he has no value as a special teamer.
Maybe it’s not his fault because of the injury in his rookie season, but Leshoure has never been the impressive rusher he was supposed to be when the Lions traded up to the second round of the 2011 draft to get him. He was a prohibitive favorite to be the complement to Reggie Bush when they signed him, and he lost out on even that. He’s clearly out of favor in Detroit, and his impact is non-existent, though he might be a better reserve player than most. Or not.
It’s when comparing Leshoure to the the expectations he was saddled with that he looks worst. Coming out of college, it looked like he would be a feature back. When the Lions drafted him, they wanted him as a power complement to a speed back. This year, he finally had that opportunity, and lost it to an undrafted player before the season even started. He’s even trailing a sixth-round rookie in terms of time with the offense. It’s hard to see his career in Detroit as anything but over.
He’s a former second-round pick who has lost his role and his relevance in about two years’ time. It will be a surprise if he makes it through the end of training camp in 2014.