There has been speculation about this for the last few weeks and it appears that the Lions are moving closer to making a decision.
According to a source close to the situation, the surgeon who performed the Lisfranc surgery on the left foot of running back Kevin Jones has agreed with Lions trainers that Jones should start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Dr. Richard Anderson re-examined Jones this afternoon and then discussed the situation with Lions officials.
Because the Lions have a bye week in the sixth week of the season, Jones will only miss five games. Jones will be eligible to return on Oct. 21 in the home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The medical report on Jones is that his foot is almost completely recovered, but team officials want to err on the side of caution and make sure he’s in the best possible football condition before he returns to the field. Again, according to a source close to the situation, Jones is expected to return without losing any of his original speed or running ability.
If true, this news is an obvious bump to Tatum Bell’s stock. OC Mike Martz has praised Bell throughout the preseason and it appears that he will be the starter for the first five games (at least). I’m still leery of drafting Bell as anything more than a RB3 because this situation could easily devolve into a RBBC when Jones comes back. One strategy would be to draft a RB in the first round and then load up on WRs before taking Bell in the fifth as a RB2. It is imperative that you also grab KJ once you hit the ninth or tenth round. Martz has traditionally featured one back, but there’s no guarantee he goes that route. A Bell/KJ combo is especially valuable in PPR leagues since Martz loves to throw so much.