Kevin Smith closer to return for Lions

It sure looks like RB Kevin Smith will be back in uniform for the Lions on Sunday.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz admitted that Smith is “getting a lot closer” after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee┬álate last season, according to The Detroit News, but said he still needs to balance making the right decision with the team’s needs following other injuries. Even so, Schwartz’s hand might be forced. Rookie Jahvid Best is day-to-day while battling a toe injury, and backup Aaron Brown suffered a broken finger last week.

Maurice Morris is the only other back on the active roster.

Another player who plans on returning is WR Nate Burleson, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. It stands to reason that QB Matthew Stafford, who plans to test his injured shoulder by throwing this week, could be several weeks away.

— Frank Tadych

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