Mikel Leshoure frustrated by reduced role with Lions

Leon Halip

Mikel Leshoure has fallen to the bottom of the Lions' depth chart, and he isn't happy about it.

Mikel Leshoure is frustrated with his role in the Detroit Lions offense. The 2011 second-round pick has yet to record a carry this season. He wasn't even marked active for a game until Week 3 against the Washington Redskins when Reggie Bush was forced to sit due to a sprained knee. Leshoure did not record a carry in the win, ceding touches to Joique Bell and Theo Reddick. He told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, "I just want to play."

"It's frustrating," he said. "You want to play, obviously, and you want to be out there, especially knowing that you can help. It's frustrating. I don't really know what the issue is, why I wouldn't be out here and why I didn't play. But I didn't. That's pretty much it."

Leshoure was asked by Birkett whether he would be open to be traded. The Indianapolis Colts reportedly inquired about Leshoure before pulling off a blockbuster deal with the Cleveland Browns for Trent Richardson. Leshoure didn't take Birkett's bait, though he didn't explicitly deny that he would be interested in playing elsewhere.

"Like I said before, there's a lot of speculation just because of the fact that I'm not on the field and people just wondering what's going on. But I want to play, and that's it."

Leshoure has sputtered to start his career. A torn Achilles' tendon during training camp ended his rookie season before it started. Leshoure made his delayed Lions debut in 2012, but after a solid start to the season, his production steadily declined amid nagging injuries. He finished the year with 215 carries for 798 yards and nine touchdowns at 3.7 yards per carry.

Leshoure also had 214 yards on 34 receptions, but the Lions appear to regard Bell and Riddick as better pass catchers, and thus better fits in the Lions' pass-happy offense.

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