RB Mikel Leshoure - Free Agent

5-10, 227Born: 3-30-1990College: IllinoisDrafted: Round 2, pick 2011

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Game Recaps

2013 Week 6 vs CLE (2 / 9 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Leshoure saw his first action of the season with a couple of carries in relief of Reggie Bush. He had more burst and lateral agility than last season, which is a positive sign as he is now two years removed from his Achilles injury.

2012 Week 3 vs TEN (26 / 100 / 1 rush, 4 / 4 / 34 / 0 rec)

Mikel LeShoure delivered on the promise from Lions training camp. Getting a total of 30 touches, LeShoure all but eliminated any thoughts of a split back system in Detroit. LeShoure did the bulk of his damage on the ground, routinely gashing the Titans front seven for gains of 4+ yards. The Titans defense did nothing to impress, but the advantage of double coverage for Calvin Johnson left holes in the Titans second level that LeShoure hit with certainty, quickness and power. LeShoure's touchdown was a 1 yard cap to a 9 play drive in the third quarter. LeShoure took Kevin Smith's touches completely away by showing the ability to stay on the field on 3rd downs. Mikel showed versatility by finding space as Stafford's check down option. LeShoure totaled 4 catches for 34 yards.

2012 Week 4 vs MIN (13 / 26 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 37 / 0 rec)

As solid as Leshoure looked last week, he looked equally as ineffective this week against what is proving to be a very stout run defense in the Vikings. As soon as a hole opened, it was slammed shut by the Vikings, often right on top of Leshoure. The speed of the defense was a problem, as Leshoure looked a bit slow footed as he headed to the hole and lacked the burst which was prevalent last week. Leshoure showed some more of his agility though, on a beautiful catch and run in the middle of the first quarter. On the play he was wide open for a catch and when a defender closed on him, he made a fantastic little jump cut/juke which had the Vikings would-be tackler looking for his jock afterwards. The truth is, while Leshoure has some issues and rust, the offensive line is as big a problem. All too often they lacked push off the snap or allowed someone like Jared Allen into the backfield before Leshoure had even grabbed the ball. It's a good thing Leshoure seems to relish contact and deliver hits as he was hit often. He kept fighting but was rarely able to gain many yards after the initial hit.

2012 Week 6 vs PHI (15 / 70 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 24 / 0 rec)

Leshoure was the entire Detroit offense for the first 45 minutes of this game. Matthew Stafford had just 91 yards passing during that time and 25 of it went to Leshoure in the first quarter. Leshoure also added 44 yards on the ground, giving him 69 total yards from scrimmage. The disappointing part was that the Lions never used him on third down, even on third and short situations. As a result, the Leshoure finished with just 18 touches on the day and the Lions were 3 for 13 on third down conversions. Leshoure was most effective when running up the gut, knifing through the line, or cutting back toward the middle after contact, frequently making two or three additional yards with a good second effort. His longest run was his second carry of the day - a 14 yard run where he was about to go off tackle, but bounced to the outside and hit the edge before excelerating into the open field for a big gain. Two of his three receptions were at the end of the first quarter - both were screens / check down catch-and-run plays where he was able to break it for 13 and 12 yards respectively. Leshoure's effectiveness was used more as a decoy though, and several of the bigger pass plays come on play action with a fake to him. Stafford's touchdown was a play action rollout where the defense expected Leshoure to go up the gut and lost track as Stafford rolled out and basically walked into the end zone. With less than a minute to go in regulation, the Lions gave the ball twice to Leshoure, looking to run out the clock and he responded with back to back eight yard carries up the gut. However, with no timeouts and 1st and goal from the 1, the Lions had to pass the ball instead of trust Leshoure to win the game and they eventually settled for a field goal. Leshoure had two carries in the overtime period, but one was called back for a holding penalty.

2012 Week 7 vs CHI (12 / 63 / 0 rush, 7 / 6 / 20 / 0 rec)

Leshoure faced the tough challenge of running against the #1 run defense in the league. He responded as well as expected, finishing with 12 carries for 63 yards and added another six receptions for 20 yards to his totals. It was really feast of famine with Leshoure in this game. He had three carries of 14 or more yards, but also had eight touches where he had only a one yard gain or was stopped for a loss. His big runs came off tackle or straight up the gut, and every time he tried to get outside, either on a run or on a swing pass, he was bottled up and stopped for a short gain or run out of bounds. His most costly carry though came just before the half - where he had just come off of a 10 yard catch and run for a first down deep in Chicago territory. Leshoure took a delay up the gut, but fumbled and the Bears recovered. It kept the Lions off the scoreboard in the first half. What was most disappointing for Leshoure owners is that despite having multiple opportunities with first and goal from inside the 10 yard line, Bell was the back on the field and Stafford was looking to pass more than run. The one time they did run with Bell, he fumbled and the Bears recovered. Leshoure was nowhere in the short-yardage red zone picture.

2012 Week 8 vs SEA (10 / 46 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 9 / 0 rec)

Leshoure's day was limited after getting off to a nice start against Seattle's stout rushing defense. Leshoure had a long of 16 yards on the Lions' first TD drive, taking the draw up the middle before delivering a blow to safety Kam Chancellor. Leshoure had plenty of space to run on the play and he did what he does best, limiting his movement and getting downhill fast. Leshoure was also involved in the passing game, garnering five targets, including lining up in the slot and running an out. Leshoure caught three of the passes, but only picked up nine yards, with a long of four. Midway through the 3rd quarter, Leshoure appeared hobbled and promptly left the field. While it appeared to be nothing serious, Leshoure did not return to the game and head coach Jim Schwartz was rather ambiguous about his injury status.

2012 Week 9 vs JAX (16 / 70 / 3 rush, 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Leshoure, like the Lions offense, was stifled early on but due his red zone effectiveness had a huge fantasy day. After looking indecisive and picking up just 13 yards on his first five carries, Leshoure broke out late in the first quarter with a 14 yard gain that was a product of a decisive cutback at the line of scrimmage. Leshoure had only the safety between him and a long touchdown run but couldn't get past him. It didn't end up mattering because he finished the drive with a seven yard touchdown run through a tiny hole in the line. His second touchdown of the quarter was much easier, a one yard run up the middle that just about any back could have scored on. After surrendering most of the Lions' next drive to Joique Bell, Leshoure came in in the red zone and had his best run of the day for another score. The run was designed off tackle left and two defenders met the Lions' back at the line of scrimmage, a juke left brought both of them two the ground and he easily waltzed into the end zone from there. Leshoure was used sparingly in the second half but when he did run, he found great success bouncing runs outside.

2012 Week 10 vs MIN (13 / 43 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)

Leshoure is not a punishing runner, a powerful back nor does he have much explosion to speak of. He is however a quantity running back similar to Cedric Benson or BenJarvus Green-Ellis. With the Lions, he is certain to get plenty of carries over the season to overcome his limitations as a runner, but today he only had 13 and did very little with them to earn more. His biggest run on the day went for 14 yards and he didn't have to beat a defender or make a cut on the play. Leshoure wasn't involved as a receiver either, tallying just one reception for 5 yards and missing opportunities at other stages of the game.

2012 Week 11 vs GB (19 / 84 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / -2 / 0 rec)


The Lions came into the game as a team that throws the ball more than any other team in the league. Yet it was a consistent commitment to the running game that nearly won them the game. Although the frequently lined up in the shotgun formation, Leshoure was still able to get 20 touches for the game. As mentioned with Joique Bell, the Lions talked about why the limit Leshoure to just 20-22 touches a game - because they feel like if he has more than that, he's too hurt for the following week and is less effective. This is good to know from a fantasy prospective, especially if you see Leshoure turn in a 25 or 30 touch performance one week. As for this game, it was solid running all around. Eight of LeShoure's 19 carries went for five yards or more, and he had three runs of 10 or more yards. The TD run was just a straight plow up the gut where LeShoure lowered his head to get into the end zone. His longest run was a 15 yard sprint in the second quarter, where he took the inside handoff, broke to the outside and got to the sideline running hard and plowing ahead. His only reception was a short screen in the first quarter - but the defense saw it and he was tackled immediately. One final thing to note is about the formations: Stafford frequently lined up in a shotgun or 'pistol' formation, where he was back from under the center. Yet that didn't' stop the runs to Leshoure, and in some cases, he was still lined up as a single back behind Stafford when he was in the Pistol formation. The used this to give him the ball with time to adjust, and it worked well for many times during the game. While LeShoure never broke off a big run to the house, he kept grinding away and kept the Packers from stacking the box to avoid the pass.

2012 Week 12 vs HOU (12 / 32 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 27 / 0 rec)

Leshoure had twelve carries on the day but had very little success in breaking through the Texans dominant front seven. His best run came on a 12 yard scamper up the middle in the game's first series. He took the handoff from Matt Stafford and bolted through a huge hole on the way to a big gain. After that, however, the Texans defense seemed devoted to stopping him between the tackles. He had four carries go for 2 yards or less and four more that resulted in lost yardage. Leshoure did score on a touchdown in the first quarter. On the play, the Lions ran a draw to Leshoure. He took the ball and ran with power off tackle to the left for the game's first points.

2012 Week 13 vs IND (21 / 57 / 1 rush, 3 / 2 / 16 / 0 rec)

Mikel Leshoure was clearly the feature back on Sunday against the Colts, got the bulk of the workload on the ground but wasn't able to accomplish much in the end. The Colts were stout against the rush, penetrating into the backfield often and taking down Leshoure before he could get truly moving forward. Leshoure was used a power back, getting a lot of dive plays up the middle to wear down the defense but the Colts did not give up or wear down on the ground. Leshoure was only a minor factor in the passing game as a simple checkdown option for Stafford in times of pressure. Leshoure was not very effective on the ground but it wasn't his fault. He ran tough, had good vision to choose the correct hole and tried to push back defenders when given the opportunity. Leshoure scored his rushing touchdown on a well designed trap play. The offensive line sealed the edges well and Leshoure showed physical play by running over a Colts defender as he rushed into the endzone for the TD.

2012 Week 14 vs GB (14 / 49 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Running against the Packers' nickel defense(which is actually their base these days), Leshoure pushed the offense down the field on the opening drive. He wasn't receiving much resistence from the Packers' defense and was benefiting from some decent blocking from his offensive line. The first drive of the game basically predicted the rest of the game for Leshoure. He had an efficient, intelligent and safe game with the football in his hands, but he lacks explosion and any notable physicality. It may still be an issue recovering from that tendon tear all those months ago, but he is a relatively average running back who will benefit from quantity rather than quality.

2012 Week 15 vs ARI (14 / 55 / 1 rush, 3 / 2 / 4 / 0 rec)

In a game that Detroit trailed for most of three quarters, Leshoure still amassed 16 touches and a decent fantasy day. In one of the rare highlights for the Lions offense, Leshoure capped off an 11-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown plunge early in the second quarter. Leshoure found consistent running lanes inside, but playing catch-up translated to inconsistent usage from drive-to-drive. His vision was a plus as he found cutback lanes and used proper leverage for additional yards after contact. His day could have been over 100 rushing yards as he nearly broke a 70-yard touchdown run in the second half. Only a shoestring tackle in the secondary prevented an even longer gain on the play. He was targeted three times on screen passes, but with minimal success. Arizona read each well and limited Leshoure to short gains or a loss on those plays. Leshoure has averaged less than 4.0 yards-per-carry each of the last four games, but has made his fantasy living with his short-range touchdowns. He has seven touchdowns in the past seven games despite his lack of efficiency.

2012 Week 16 vs ATL (15 / 46 / 1 rush, 4 / 3 / 20 / 0 rec)

Mikel Leshoure had a difficult time establishing rhythm. Given Detroit's lack of quality receivers, Atlanta stacked the box to stop Leshoure. Leshoure only mustered 14 first half rushing yards on six carries. Leshoure lazily fumbled away one carry and was benched for an entire series. After halftime, Leshoure logged 20 total yards on first drive and cashed in on a 1-yard touchdown plunge. Leshoure ran with a low pad level and launched himself into the end zone. Leshoure was replaced by Bell as Detroit attempted to mount a comeback.

2012 Week 17 vs CHI (15 / 57 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 20 / 0 rec)

Leshoure ran hard for the Lions in this game, but the Chicago run defense was simply too tough and he was held in check for most of the day. He did have a couple solid plays early in the game, but by the time the 4th quarter rolled around, Leshoure was taken completely out of the offense, and he had just one carry in the final 17 minutes of the game. Near the end of the first quarter, Leshoure took a nice pitch and was able to bust up field for a 10 yard gain. However, he was stuffed for a 2 yard loss on the next play and the drive died shortly into the second quarter. On the final drive of the first half, Leshoure caught two short screen/check down passes and was able to break them for nine and 13 yards respectfully. On the opening drive of the third quarter, Leshoure had two back to back carries nine and 13 yards. However, he was completely shut down after that, finishing with just three touches for no gain.