Could Best injury force Lions into trade?

With 4 pm trade deadline looming, there's a chance the Lions could be forced to address RB position.

ALLEN PARK -- Internet and Twitter reports Monday claiming that running back Jahvid Best was going on the injured list were premature at the very least. But that's not to say there isn't real concern over his health and the health of the team's running game.

Best suffered his second concussion of the season Sunday. The first one came in an exhibition game at Cleveland Aug. 19. He also missed the final four games of his college career at Cal with a concussion.

The uncertainty surrounding Best's health could push general manager Martin Mayhew to be more active before Tuesday's trade deadline, which ends at 4 p.m. (EST)

"Any chance we have to improve our team, I think we've proven that we're willing to do it," coach Jim Schwartz said.

On Tuesday, however, Schwartz left the possibility of playing Best next Sunday on the table. He also expressed confidence in the team's other running backs, Jerome Harrison and Maurice Morris.

For now, though, the Lions can do nothing for Best except let him go through the process and see how he comes out.

"There is a concern because it's the second one," Schwartz said. "But it doesn't change the process for him to be cleared."

Best, outside linebacker Justin Durant and tight end Tony Scheffler will all have to go through the NFL-mandated protocol for head injuries this week. Durant has missed three games now and Scheffler one.

"It doesn't make us more cautious, but there is a protocol that you go through," Schwartz said regarding Best's history of head injuries. "We will make sure we clear all those hurdles before he's back on the field."

Schwartz said Best started complaining of the symptoms after the game, though it appeared he got his bell rung on a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter. Maurice Morris replaced him for the remainder of the game.

"We never lost (Best's) availability during the game," Schwartz said. "Even though we were using different packages, we were trying to get more protection so we had Maurice Morris in there to help chip."

That's an odd decision considering that Best had caught six passes for 73 yards at that point.

"Jahvid had been effective in our passing game, but Mo's also been effective," Schwartz said. "It was a situation where we were saying, 'We need to get Matt (Stafford, quarterback) more time.' We were trying to get some balls to Calvin Johnson down field."

Schwartz tries to put post-game antics behind him

In the aftermath of his post-game dust-up with 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, Schwartz was contrite but not apologetic. "It is unfortunate that the events after the game overshadowed the fact that it was probably one of the best football games of the day yesterday between two teams that are 5-1 in the NFC; two young and improving teams," he said. "The game is played by players on the field. We don't want things like that to occur but there are competitive people in this league. We need to do a better job of leaving it to the players on the field."

Asked directly if he wanted to offer a public apology, Schwartz said only, "It's a regrettable situation, particularly the fact that it detracted from what happened in the game." Schwartz spoke to league officials on Monday and gave his version of the story. Harbaugh did the same. The league ruled it would not issue any reprimand on either coach.

The players completely had their coach's back on this one. "He's passionate about the game. I will say that, and I like that about him," wide receiver Nate Burleson said. "We're an emotional team. We go as our head coach goes. I think how we've been playing is a direct reflection of Jim and that's been pretty good for us so far."

Schwartz blunt on Stafford

Schwartz was pretty blunt on his assessment of quarterback Matthew Stafford's performance Sunday. "Not one of Matt's better games, for sure," he said. He said the receivers needed to do a better job of getting open and the protection could have been a lot better, but there were plays to be made that weren't. "There were times that he had to bail away and make throws," Schwartz said. "That's going to happen. It doesn't mean you can't still make plays. But there were also times he didn't need to bail away, where he needed to step up into the pocket and make some throws."

Notebook ...

  • DE Kyle Vanden Bosch, who suffered a stinger in the fourth quarter, was back in the weight room early Monday morning. The stinger came when he tried to throw a block on the interception return of Amari Spievey. His helmet had come unstrapped during the play, but he made the block any way. Vanden Bosch had neck surgery last season, so stingers are a concern. "It's all relative, but it's not part of his previous issue with his neck surgery," coach Jim Schwartz said.

  • TE Tony Scheffler (concussion), on the advice of his doctors, was kept away from the team hotel Saturday night and from Ford Field Sunday. "Part of the symptoms are loud stadiums and lights," coach Jim Schwartz said. "They thought they could get Tony settled down if he wasn't in that environment."

  • P Ryan Donahue said he was supposed to punt the ball high and to the sideline, instead he hit it low and right down the middle of the field. San Francisco's return ace Ted Ginn, Jr., brought it back 40 yards to set up the winning score. "It's like everybody who plays golf, you always want to hit the fairway; sometimes you don't," Schwartz said. "We need to do a better job covering those. But the disappointment on that was there was a pretty significant block in the back (that wasn't called) on the return. You talk about one play in a game -- that might have been it. It would have significantly flipped the field."

  • WR Calvin Johnson became the fastest Lions player to catch 300 passes Sunday. He did it in 66 games, four quicker than Herman Moore.

  • OLB DeAndre Levy, coming off a career-best 13 tackles against Chicago, had 12 tackles on Sunday.

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