Deep breaths suggested on Jahvid Best

July, 26, 2012
7/26/12
3:05
PM ET
For most of the offseason, we've operated under the assumption that Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best (concussions) would be cleared for contact at the start of training camp. That could still be the case. But as of this moment, it hasn't happened yet.

That was the word Thursday morning from coach Jim Schwartz, who held a news conference about 24 hours before the Lions' first practice of camp. Schwartz told reporters: "He still has a hurdle to go yet to be cleared for contact. We just have to wait and see."

Schwartz added: "It's not just one single thing. There are a lot of people involved in it. He has a lot of input from a lot of people across the country. We know now you can never rush a timetable with head injuries."

Based on everything we've heard, it would be surprising and greatly concerning if Best isn't soon cleared for contact. That doesn't mean he'll participate in every 9-on-7 drill, but he'll need to get hit a few times this summer to prepare properly for the season.

We'll take this as it comes. At the moment, we've simply received a reminder of how seriously Best and the Lions are taking his condition. If the delay lingers far into training camp, or if it becomes clear the Lions are protecting him beyond a reasonable level, then we'll start getting concerned about Best's ability to contribute consistently over a 16-game season. But we're not there, at least not yet.

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