No one knows when Jahvid Best will play

As much as it goes against my role as an information disseminator, here's my suggestion for our ongoing discussions on the short-term future of Detroit Lions tailback Jahvid Best: Let me know when it's over.

Lions general manager Martin Mayhew acknowledged Tuesday his surprise and disappointment that Best wasn't cleared for contact in time to start training camp. Mayhew reiterated his confidence that it will happen "eventually," but the reality is there is no reliable timetable for knowing if that moment will happen tomorrow, next week, next month or next year.

By all accounts, anything more specific than that would be a straight-up guess. The NFL's new concussion protocol is based on benchmarks and tests that don't follow the kind of neat timetable of, say, a torn ACL.

In essence, the Lions are in a waiting mode. If Best still isn't cleared by a certain point, possibly by the middle or end of next month, they'll probably have to sign a running back to ensure proper depth for the start of the season. Beyond that, any discussion about Best is idle speculation. There's no sense in hashing through it every day.