By now you're surely aware that Detroit Lions tailback Mikel Leshoure has been suspended for the first two games of the 2012 season after a pair of marijuana-related incidents this offseason. I'm just returning from Green Bay Packers minicamp and have only a few points to add:
Leshoure will miss games against two NFC West teams: at home against the St. Louis Rams and at the San Francisco 49ers in a nationally-televised game. As we sit here three months away from those games, I don't know that his absence will impact the odds of the Lions winning either game. They should beat the Rams regardless and face a tough challenge against the 49ers in either event.
Two games is a manageable discipline for a starting player, but it's worth noting that Leshoure is one mishap away -- large or small from a much more significant absence. Does that means six games? Half a season? Who knows. But I can't imagine the Lions tolerating another run-in anytime soon. A two-game suspension is a small price to pay for a wake-up call.
The next shoe to drop will be what could be a similar suspension for defensive tackle Nick Fairley, who has been arrested twice this offseason in Alabama. It's possible the NFL will wait until after the legal process plays out before announcing Fairley's punishment.