Stefan Logan is getting back to his roots.
Entering his fourth season in the NFL, Logan has spent most of his time as a return specialist while moon-lighting as a receiver.
Before entering the league, Logan spent a season as a running back in the Canadian Football League and also played the position in college.
"(It) feels great to be back (at the running back position) but at the same time, it's all about just helping the team, each and every way I can," said Logan. "At running back, wide receiver, kick return, punt return, I'm just here to do whatever it takes. Just help us make plays at any position."
Logan entered last season as a receiver but – after injuries at the running back position – made the transition back to the backfield.
He didn't contribute much on offense but with only nine carries, didn't have much of a chance.
However, this season he has seen a little more action at the position in practice – including some reps with the first-team offense. He also had five touches for 17 yards and a touchdown in the team's first preseason tilt.
His ability to contribute on offense is becoming increasingly important, since the NFL's 2011-implemented kickoff rule – moving the ball up five yards on kickoffs – is a determent to the impact he can have in the return game.
"Well two years ago was a little different role because of the way the rules were," said head coach Jim Schwartz. "You know he was returning a lot of kicks, returning one for a touchdown, making a lot of plays on kickoff cover. Those things don't happen very often now. He's been used as a gadget player, making some plays there. He's gotten a much more important role on offense now and you know mentally he's been very sharp. He's still multidimensional, he lines up split out as a wide receiver, lines up in the back field, you know does a lot of those things and he's also still you know ready as a returner. So last year his role changed a little bit with the way the rules changed but he's done a good job of finding a way to keep being useful."
Logan is happy to contribute on offense but hasn't lost touch with his main responsibility.
"Right now, my permanent position is running back but as everybody already knows, my role since I've been here is on special teams and I'm not going to let that slip away," said Logan. "I started on kick return and punt return since I've been in the league and I don't want to take away from that so, playing running back is another role that I can play. I'm just trying to get out here and win."
Logan referred to himself as the team's ‘scat back', offering speed to hit the edge on run plays – something even more valuable as Jahvid Best continues his recovery from last year's concussion.
Last season, the Lions didn't appear committed to getting Logan involved in the offense. So far, this year, it appears as if his role will be legitimate.