He may have opened the 2012 NFL season as Detroit's starting running back, but Lions veteran Kevin Smith continues to tumble down the team's depth chart as the organization explores other options at the position.
The 25-year-old Smith remains perfectly healthy, and isn't completely sure why the coaching staff has kept him off the field in each of the last two games.
"I really haven’t gotten any answers (to why I’m not playing) so if you ask me it has nothing to do with my production," Smith told Dave Birkett of The Detroit Free Press.
"I’m 100 percent healthy dating back to when I came back the last part of the season," Smith said. "I’m not in the business of going upstairs and asking questions or anything like that. I control what I can control and everything else I don’t worry about."
Smith has not carried the ball since a Week 2 loss to San Francisco on Sept. 16, and was hardly a slouch over the first two games of the season with 115 rushing yards on 29 carries and two total touchdowns. It's obvious that the Lions planned all along to feature Mikel Leshoure as their workhorse back after his two-game suspension was up, but it didn't seem likely that Smith would be completely dropped from the offense as a result.
The emergence of second-year back Joique Bell has also directly attributed to Smith's diminished role, as it's quite clear that the organization wants to continue to utilize Bell's ability in the passing game going forward. Barring an injury to a Detroit runner, it looks like Smith may not actually get another chance to prove his value in a game situation this season.