Mikel Leshoure was the Detroit Lions' leading rusher in 2012. He tumbled to fourth on the depth chart last year and touched the ball just twice.

He publicly proclaimed he would like an opportunity to play, whether or not that was with the Lions. But he's not going anywhere just yet.

Leshoure could be ticketed for a larger role after Detroit hired former Saints quarterbacks coach Joe Lombardi as its offensive coordinator.

"If you go back and look at what the Saints did, they used multiple backs in a lot of different ways," general manager Martin Mayhew said last week. "I'm encouraged about that for Mikel, and it could bode well for him in terms of getting more playing time and having a more specific, defined role in our offense.

"I'm encouraged by that for him and look forward to seeing him when he gets back."

Detroit is deep at tailback, where Reggie Bush is entrenched as the starter and restricted free agent Joique Bell will return as the complement back.