Is Kevin Jones done in Detroit?

Many of the Detroit Lions and their fans would like to put the 2006 season behind them. However, they may have to leave their star running back with it. While running back Kevin Jones' injury will put him out for the season, it may also end his career in Detroit.

Many of the Detroit Lions and their fans would like to put the 2006 season behind them. However, they may have to leave their star running back with it.

Running back Kevin Jones, arguably the Lions best offensive player, suffered a foot injury during the Lions' loss to the Minnesota Vikings last week. The Lions have not confirmed the severity of the injury, but the speculation is that it is a fractured Lisfranc of the mid-foot region – an injury that not only will end Jones' 2006 season, but will threaten his 2007 as well.

Because of the uncertainty surrounding Jones' availability for next season the Lions may be forced to acquire another starting running back this offseason, although head coach Rod Marinelli believes it's much to early to worry about that.

"I think the big thing to do is: wait until the surgery is done to see how it went," said Marinelli "Then you have a chance to think. I couldn't tell you right now. We're just trying to finish the season up right now."

Whether or not Marinelli is brainstorming ways to replace Jones in case he is not available next season, he can attest to the value Jones has to the team and the value running backs have in general.

"Oh, I think in this league it's everything," said Marinelli "…So, a guy like that is sorely missed. Just to have the ability to have the presence of a running game, you walk in every week (and) we see an offense say, 'Oh, boy, we got to defend this tailback. We cannot let this guy get going.'"

Marinelli's strong belief in the running game only fuels the suspicion that if Jones is not ready for the 2007 the Lions will be active in finding a replacement, either through draft or free agency – which could result in the end of Jones' career as a Lion.

The two options for the Lions would be either to sign a veteran running back as a stopgap until Jones is ready to return or acquire a long-term replacement through draft or free agency. The later could spell the end for Jones' time in Detroit.

One other option would be for the Lions to enter the season with what they already have, running backs Arlen Harris, Shawn Bryson and Brian Calhoun. However, it seems unlikely that Marinelli would be comfortable intrusting the running game to these players, as he believes that "the right" running back is an important ingredient to success.

"You've got to have the right type of guy back there," said Marinelli "And usually those are - the teams that are playing really good right now in the league all have a really good player back there. You've got to worry defensively to defend. No question."

Nothing has been confirmed and there are many questions surrounding the injury; however, if the worst-case scenario were to present itself the question would then become: "is Jones worth waiting for?"


The following players have been listed on the Lions injury report G Blaine Saipaia (chest/IR) is out. DT Marcus Bell (hand), CB Fernando Bryant (concussion) and G Ross Verba (groin) are doubtful. LB Teddy Lehman (hamstring) is questionable and T Jeff Backus (foot) and WR Eddie Drummond (hip) is probable. All players listed missed a portion of team practice on Wednesday.

The Lions began the season with three running backs on their roster (not including fullback Corey Schlesinger). All three of those running backs (Jones, Calhoun and Bryson) will all finish the year on the Injured Reserve List.

The Lions now have 11 players on the Injured Reserve List. This includes six starters (DT Shaun Cody, DE James Hall, DT Shaun Rogers, T Rex Tucker, G Damien Woody and Jones).

The Detroit Lions will travel to Green Bay to face the Packers this Sunday. The Lions haven't won in Green Bay in over 15 years, losing their last 15 games at Lambeau Field.

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