Leshoure finds trouble on and off the field
A year ago this month, Mikel Leshoure was selected in the
second round of the NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions.
There were high hopes for the 6-foot, 227-pound running back, but not much has
gone right for him since that day.
Leshoure was scheduled to be arraigned Monday afternoon in Berrien County
(Mich.) District Court on a felony charge of possession of marijuana, his a second run-in with the law over marijuana possession
in the last month. However, Leshoure
failed to show up and according to reports now could face contempt-of-court
The first arrest came on Feb. 18, the second on March 12. They were reported by
the media for the first time on Monday. Both incidents took place in Berrien
County, located in the southwest corner of the state.
Whether Leshoure will face a fine and/or suspension from the NFL remains
to be seen. He could be in line for a four-game suspension without pay under
the NFL's substance-abuse policy.
The Lions released the following statement: "We are aware of the reports.
We are gathering more information and have no further comment at this
The Lions are scheduled to begin organized offseason workouts on April 16.
Leshoure's troubles with the law occurred while he's trying to make a comeback
from a torn Achilles' tendon suffered at the beginning of training camp last
season. He missed all of his rookie year.
Leshoure is potentially a key missing piece to the puzzle for the Lions, who
scrambled to find any semblance of consistency from their running backs last
season. Besides Leshoure's injury, Jahvid Best, a first-round pick in 2010,
missed much of last season because of ongoing problems with concussions.
The status of both remains somewhat unclear for this season. The nature of
Leshoure's injury is that it could take him at least part, if not all, of the
2012 season before he's able to regain form. The head injuries make Best
questionable at best.
Leshoure rushed for 1,697 yards and scored 20 touchdowns during his senior year
at Illinois in 2010.
He is the type of physical back who could help take the Lions, a 10-win playoff
team last season, to another level.
But can he get back on the right track, both on and off the field?
A Baroda-Lake Township police report indicated that a rented 2012 Mitsubishi
Endeavor SUV, with Leshoure as a passenger, was initially pulled over on March
12 for failing to signal while changing lanes and driving too close to another
Leshoure, according to the police report, was then observed trying to eat some
of the marijuana after officers approached. Leshoure also had "small
pieces of marijuana down the front of his shirt," the report continued.
According to the report, Leshoure was ordered to spit out the marijuana, "At
which time he took a drink of water and did finally spit out small pieces of
marijuana to the ground."
Police also seized small amounts of marijuana from both front seats, the center
console and both front floorboards, along with a "partially burned marijuana
blunt from the drinking glass with liquid from the center console."
Leshoure and the driver both admitted they had been smoking marijuana earlier
in the vehicle, the police report said.
As for the first incident, about three weeks earlier in Benton Township, Leshoure
was cited for possession of marijuana on Feb. 18. He pleaded to the lesser
charge of use of marijuana during a March 1 court appearance and paid $485 in
This time, the price could be considerably heavier, especially if the NFL's no-nonsense
commissioner, Roger Goodell, gets involved.