ALLEN PARK -- The Detroit Lions finished dead last in rushing production in the NFL last season, prompting the team's upper management to do something about it.
They did, it seemed, after the acquisition of former Broncos' running back Tatum Bell. Or so everyone thought.
Despite the addition of Bell, the Lions continue their free-agent march with the offensive backfield still the highest priority. In fact, the team recently interviewed former Michigan State standout and free-agent T.J. Duckett (Redskins), and on Thursday will meet running back Chris Brown (Titans).
Brown rushed for over a 1,000 yards in 11 games back in 2004.
In the meantime, they re-signed reserve running back Aveion Cason to a one-year contract. Cason played with Detroit in 2006, starting two games.
The Lions now have five (Kevin Jones, Shawn Bryson, Brian Calhoun, Bell, Cason) running backs under contract, making the team's interest in acquiring addition backfield support not only interesting, but bizarre.
It has been widely assumed, after both public and private statements, that starter Kevin Jones (Lisfranc injury) should return in time to start the season; perhaps as early as training camp. But Detroit's continued search for help at the position -- including better-than-marginal talent -- might suggest otherwise.
NOTES: The Lions also re-signed defensive lineman Cleveland Pinkney to a one-year contract.