Lions' Mikel Leshoure out for year

Updated: August 8, 2011, 5:07 PM ET
Associated Press

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The banged-up Detroit Lions have taken another hit.

A big one.

Running back Mikel Leshoure tore his left Achilles tendon on Monday, ending his season before it began.

"There's no more tests that need to be done. He'll have surgery very soon," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. "He'll be back, but he won't be back this year."

The rookie was injured after being hit high, quickly and clean, by defensive end Cliff Avril during an 11-on-11 drill in practice.

"I thudded him up and walked off," Avril said. "I didn't even know he fell to the ground until after everybody blew the whistle."

Leshoure was carted off the team's practice field after being attended to by team trainers.

The Lions were counting on the second-round pick from Illinois to provide power in the backfield to go along with the slight and speedy Jahvid Best, who struggled to stay healthy last year as a rookie and in college at California.

"I'm ready for anything," Best said.

The 5-foot-10, 199-pound Best insisted he can be an every-down back.

"I definitely think so," he said. "Size doesn't have anything to do with it."

The Lions, though, already have started looking into bolstering their backfield, especially with Maurice Morris out with a broken right hand.

"Scouts were working during practice," Schwartz said. "Those guys were already on the horn. We maintain an active list."

Detroit's options may include Tiki Barber, Jerome Harrison and Kevin Smith, whom the team chose not to re-sign in the offseason.

The Lions and objective observers were excited about their top draft picks this year, but the top three won't be able to help any time soon.

First-round defensive tackle Nick Fairley had surgery on his left foot last week and will miss most, if not all, of training camp. Second-round receiver Titus Young has been limited to individual drills because of a leg injury.

The limping Lions did get some good news with offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus participating in some team drills after offseason surgery on his right knee, and safety Louis Delmas back on the field after having a pin removed from his hand.

Starting offensive tackle Jeff Backus (chest) and key backup Jason Fox (foot) didn't practice.

"We finished our 2-minute drill seven on seven, not because we wanted to, but because the offensive line numbers are down," Schwartz said.

Moments after Leshoure went down, the Lions moved down the field and resumed practice.

"When you get hurt, you move up a couple yards and you keep it rolling," offensive guard Rob Sims said. "That's just the nature of the business. When somebody goes down, you have to get somebody else in there."


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press