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Mikel Leshoure's debut brings stability to Lions

We mentioned that running back Mikel Leshoure's 100-yard debut for the Detroit Lions is the most for this team since Billy Sims rumbled for 153 yards during his rookie campaign way back in 1980.

On NFL Replay
NFL Replay
will re-air the Tennessee Titans' 44-41 win over the Detroit  Lions in Week 3 on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. ET.

Leshoure isn't a rookie, but a torn Achilles' tendon wiped out his first year in the league in 2011, and Detroit's backfield has suffered since. Sunday's showing topped Barry Sanders' 71-yard debut in 1989, and might signal an end to the chaotic and underwhelming backfield-by-committee approach that's plagued Detroit of late. It wasn't enough to prevent an overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans, but it was a start.

"We didn't win, so that was the most important thing," Leshoure told the Detroit Free Press. "We didn't get that, so things could have went better, obviously. But it felt good to be out there for the first time, it felt good to get my feet wet out there, and now I just got to go back and look at film and correct some of my mistakes."

We found out what the Lions think about Kevin Smith as their feature back. He didn't carry the ball once in the defeat. Even when Leshoure was pulled in overtime -- to avoid burning him out one game in -- Joique Bell took over.

The Lions master plan was to have Leshoure serve as the power-running sidekick to Jahvid Best, but the two have never played together in a regular-season game. Don't hold your breath for that, but Leshoure brings Detroit one step closer to relevancy in the backfield.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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