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Detroit Lions GM reportedly calling teams for RB help

With their season opener just 12 days away, the Detroit Lions are paper-thin -- and getting thinner -- in the backfield.

Detroit's big vision hasn't panned out. The way general manager Martin Mayhew saw it, fleet-of-foot Jahvid Best and the physical Mikel Leshoure would give Matthew Stafford and the offense its most dynamic backfield in years. Neither can stay healthy (or out of trouble), leaving the Lions feeling around for answers.

Jason La Canfora of reported Tuesday that Mayhew has been calling around to teams in search of help.

Kevin Smith is the starter, but he hurt his ankle against the Oakland Raiders over the weekend. Meanwhile, the concussion-addled Best will open the season on the physically unable to perform list and Leshoure has been suspended for the first two games of the season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

Let's remember that Detroit passed on Cedric Benson -- which is mystifying -- and the team probably is done with free-agent types like Ryan Grant if they're traveling the trade route.

The Lions will live and die through the air in 2012, but an endless sleep will come early if NFL defenses don't buy into the ground game. Expect to see a move here soon.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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