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Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Lions weighing their backfield options

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

As they transition to a more balanced offense, it's clear the Detroit Lions aren't totally satisfied with their backfield depth.

ESPN.com's Bill Williamson reports the Lions hosted Oakland running back Lamont Jordan on a visit last week, making at least two veteran runners the Lions have looked at this summer. The other was their former tailback, Kevin Jones, who held a workout June 28 near Detroit.

As of today, veteran Tatum Bell is the Lions' most likely starter. Rookie Kevin Smith will get plenty of repetitions in training camp. Other running backs on the roster include Aveion Cason, Brian Calhoun and Artose Pinner.

But after releasing Jones and bidding farewell to T.J. Duckett, the Lions certainly have some questions at the position. It's not clear how much interest the Detroit has in Jordan, who remains under contract with the Raiders. At the very least, however, the Lions are gathering information on their options should their current group prove underwhelming during training camp.

It's an especially critical position for the Lions, who are re-emphasizing their running game under new coordinator Jim Colletto. Bell has experience in Colletto's zone running scheme, having played in a similar system in Denver from 2004-06. Otherwise, the Lions don't have a lot of past production on the roster.