The Detroit Lions made it official Wednesday and announced the release of concussion-plagued running back Jahvid Best, who had not played in a game since 2011.
“I want to thank the Detroit Lions organization for drafting me and giving me an opportunity to fulfill my dream and play in the National Football League,” Best said in a statement released through the team.
“My time as a member of the Lions was a very special time in my life. My teammates, the members of the organization, the Lions fans and the people of Detroit will hold a special place in my heart. I’ll always be a Lion.”
Best played in 22 games for the Lions over two seasons since the team traded up in the 2010 draft to select him 30th overall out of California.
But the epitaph on Best’s Lions career will be as the poster child for the NFL’s handling of concussions amid raging lawsuits from former players who say the league did not do enough to protect them.
Best entered the NFL having suffered at least one serious concussion during his final season at Cal. In 2011, he suffered two head injuries: one in the exhibition season and one in an Oct. 16 loss to the 49ers that ended his season and ultimately his Lions career.
Doctors didn’t clear him for contact and he missed the 2012 season after he was placed on the physically unable to perform list Aug. 27.
Bucs’ Barth out for season
Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Connor Barth will miss the upcoming season with a torn Achilles’ tendon, and the team has signed two-time Super Bowl winner Lawrence Tynes as his replacement.
The Bucs announced Wednesday that Barth was injured last week in his hometown of Wilmington, N.C., and underwent successful surgery on Monday. He will be placed on the non-football injury list.
Tynes is a ninth-year pro who spent the past six seasons with the New York Giants, helping them win NFL titles in 2007 and 2011.
Cowboys waive ex-Zips QB
The Dallas Cowboy waived quarterback Dalton Williams and offensive tackle J.B. Shugarts, creating more roster space four days before their first training camp practice.
The move Wednesday on Williams, a rookie free agent from Akron, leaves Dallas with three quarterbacks in Tony Romo, Kyle Orton and Nick Stephens.