Mikel Leshoure says he hopes to be practicing next week

The Detroit Lions covered themselves at running back by keeping Kevin Smith around for this season.

They’ve needed that cover.

Jahvid Best has yet to be cleared to return from concussions suffered last year and Mikel Leshoure has been held out of the majority of training camp with a pulled hamstring. The good news is Leshoure did running on the side during practice today and he said the plan is for him to be back at practice sometime next week, according to Anwar Richardson of MLive.com.

I'm starting to run now,” Leshoure said. “You never know how these days go, but I hope to get back on the field next week."

The Lions will not have to rush Leshoure back because he will serve a two-game suspension at the start of the season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. But they do need to get him practice time and ideally some time in preseason action to prepare him.

"I'm definitely ready to get out there, but I know injuries are part of the game," Leshoure said. "It's all about taking your time and healing right. It's a long season. I'll be out there when I get out there."

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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