Mikel Leshoure’s first three years in the NFL have been like a roller coaster, with far more screams than smiles.

But the Lions running back is only 23.

“I’ve got plenty of time to show the world what I can do,” he said.

A second-round pick in 2011, Leshoure missed his first season after tearing his Achilles tendon in camp, an injury from which he said he didn’t feel fully recovered until last offseason. He also was suspended the first two games in 2012 because of two marijuana-related arrests.

After 215 carries for 798 yards — with a long run of 16 yards — and 34 receptions for 214 yards in 14 starts in 2012, Leshoure has two carries for 9 yards this season in just three games.

“I’ve got plenty of football left,” said Leshoure, the fourth running back behind Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and rookie Theo Riddick. “I feel like everything happens for a reason, and only time will tell. I believe that I’ll be on the field some time and whether that’s here or somewhere else, I want to be able to produce and play football, do what I love.

“I don’t really think about me not playing this year or stuff like that. I know what I’m capable of. I’m confident in my abilities, and eventually it’ll come to light.”

But, Leshoure isn’t bitter about his role, nor is he surprised a prized free agent (Bush) took over his starting job. He does, however, find solace in being a part of a team as well as being with family. His 1-year-old son, Mikel Jr., and girlfriend both live in Michigan.

“It’s a blessing, nothing better,” he said. “Regardless of what’s going on at work, your family’s going to always be there, so it feels good to be able to come home to them.”

Leshoure knows his role is simply as a reserve, but in a league with a 100 percent injury rate, he could suddenly become a featured part of the Lions’ offense.