There are many truths that we’ve almost universally accepted as a society, but chief among them are two particularly important rules to live by: don’t talk about fight club, and don’t eat weed, ever.
Earlier this offseason Lions running back Mikel Leshoure demonstrated what happens when you violate the second rule. You look like a senseless loser, and you’re quickly reprimanded by the long arm of the law.
Leshoure was caught with marijuana, and his completely logical reaction was to shove it down his throat for a nice, light snack. That resulted in one of his two drug possession charges in less than a month when this 2012 offseason was in still its infancy, and when Leshoure still hadn’t passed GO to collect $200, and celebrate his first anniversary as a contracted NFL employee.
A suspension for Leshoure wasn’t just expected, it was assumed, with the length of the punishment the only real question. Those who are deemed idiots by the court of public opinion are soon criminals in Roger Goodell’s court, even if they were able to wiggle their way to lesser charges in actual court, as Leshoure did.
Goodell announced Leshoure’s suspension this afternoon, stating that he’ll be forced to sit for the first two games of the 2012 regular season, and then fined an additional two game checks. The Lions promptly and predictably endorsed Goodell’s decision in their rush to move forward from a brutal offseason trumped only by the nightmare in New Orleans.
From the Detroit Free Press, here’s team president Tom Lewand’s statement:
“We support the Commissioner’s decision regarding Mikel and appreciate the dialogue that we have had with the League office concerning the matter. As we have previously stated, we expect every member of our organization to uphold a greater standard of behavior. If that standard is not upheld, those responsible will be held accountable.
“Our belief and expectation is that Mikel will continue to learn from this experience and use it as positive motivation moving forward.”
Between the legal troubles of Leshoure and Nick Fairley, and the on-field misbehavior of Titus Young and Ndamukong Suh, the Lions’ picks in the first two rounds over the past two years have been a volatile mix of talent and immaturity. The impact of Leshoure’s two-game absence is somewhat minimized by the improved health of Jahvid Best, who had 390 rushing yards in just six games last year, but struggled heavily with concussion problems. He’s been among the offseason standouts so far for Detroit, but the injury risk is still very much alive for a fragile player at a high contact position.
Now the waiting game continues for a potential suspension handed to Fairley, whose absence could be painful early in the season for a team that still hasn’t made Cliff Avril happy by signing him to a long-term deal.