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Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Pressure point: Lions

By Kevin Seifert

NFC pressure points: West | North | South | East
AFC pressure points: West | North | South | East

Examining who faces the most challenging season for the Detroit Lions and why.

Mikel Leshoure has one week of NFL practice to his name. He hasn't played in a single preseason game, let alone in the regular season, and is recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered in August.

But if the Lions are to achieve more offensive balance in 2012, Leshoure will have to play a primary role. That's why he was drafted in 2011, to serve as a big between-the-tackles runner, and it's what the Lions sorely lacked after his injury.

The presumed recovery of fellow running back Jahvid Best (concussion) is really a parallel issue. Best gives the Lions a playmaker in the passing game but is best suited for a modest role as a runner. Leshoure's full-strength return would allow the Lions to use Best the way he should be while imposing a new power threat on defenses as well.