(The Spread) – The season hasn’t started and already Detroit Lions fans have reason to be miserable.

Rookie running back Mikel Leshoure is out for the season after tearing his Achilles’ tendon in Monday’s practice. It’s a huge blow for the team and the player, as Leshoure now faces a year of rehab after suffering one of the more severe injuries an athlete can have.

After selecting him in the second round of April’s draft, the Lions envisioned Leshoure complement Javhid Best in their rushing attack. Leshoure was to serve in a power back and short-yardage role, while Best would be the featured back and the starter. But now Best, who suffered through some injuries himself last year, will have to shoulder most of the load.

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It’s just the Lions’ luck that former free agent Jason Snelling just re-signed with the Atlanta Falcons because he would have been a perfect one-year replacement for Leshoure. Snelling had 324 yards rushing and two touchdowns to go along with his 44 catchers for 303 yards and three touchdowns last season in Atlanta while serving as Michael Turner’s backup. He was looking for a multi-year deal in free agency but saw the Giants, Chiefs and Rams go with other options. Thus, he returned to Atlanta on a one-year deal over the weekend.

Granted, the Lions remain one of this year’s darkhorse sleepers in the NFC but oddsmakers still view them as long shots – with or without Leshoure. Oddsmakers currently list the Lions’ 2012 Super Bowl odds at 25/1 and their odds to win the NFC Championship at 12/1.

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