Detroit Lions running back Mikel Leshoure was in trade rumors earlier this season, as he finds himself stashed as the No. 3 running back on the Lions depth chart behind standouts Reggie Bush and Joique Bell. Theo Riddick has also been getting snaps ahead of Leshoure, but the Lions elected to hold onto Leshoure at the trade deadline. However, it is unclear if any teams were interested in Leshoure, since he probably he wasn’t anything close to a hot commodity on the trading block.
Leshoure was the Lions feature back last season with 798 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, but the power back has been more than just an afterthought this season. In fact, the 23-year-old Illinois product has appeared in just three games this season, and the only two carries he received on the year came in a Week 6 game against the Cleveland Browns.
Despite his lack of a role on the Lions, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan took the time to praise Leshoure, via MLive.com’s Justin Rogers, “He missed his first year because of injury, so he’s going to have years in front of him that are going to be good years, because he’s not going to have a lot of miles on his tires over the last three years. He has a very bright future in front of him, he just needs the opportunities.”
Linehan went on to praise Leshoure for never publicly complaining about his lack of a role on the team, and that’s always welcome. But he was mum on Leshoure’s future with the team, and that’s definitely difficult to discern. With Bell and Bush playing this well, Leshoure’s future prospects are largely on the back-burner for the Lions, especially with a playoff run ahead and a looming cloud over Jim Schwartz’s job security if the Lions don’t make the postseason.