Lions lead NFL in arrests

Lions lead NFL in arrests

Published Jun. 8, 2012 9:56 a.m. ET

ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Statistics are for losers — or, in this case, law-breakers.

You want to lead the league in rushing, points allowed, turnover margin.

You just don't want to lead in arrests.

Sadly, that's where the Detroit Lions rank in 2012, according to research by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The newspaper tracked arrests and citations involving NFL players that were more serious than speeding tickets.

At last check, of the league's 21 reported arrests in 2012, Lions players accounted for five — or 24 percent.

That's three more arrests than any other team. Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Minnesota, San Francisco and Seattle each have two.

Three players — defensive tackle Nick Fairley (twice: marijuana possession and DUI), running back Mikel Leshoure (twice: both for marijuana possession) and offensive tackle Johnny Culbreath (marijuana possession) — are responsible for the Lions' five arrests.

The streak has tarnished the image for an organization that actually ranks much lower — 24th out of the 32 teams — if you go back to arrests since 2000, according to the Union-Tribune.

The newspaper's data shows that Minnesota leads the NFL with 39 arrests since 2000 while Detroit has 12.

Nevertheless, this latest stretch has quickly created a negative image of the Lions around the country, one that the organization would like to see disappear just as fast.

"We don't want to be one of those teams labeled as bad boys," receiver Nate Burleson said recently.

For now, that's the label whether they want it or not. The police blotter doesn't lie.