"I'm pretty sure I'll hear questions about concussions probably until the end of my career,” he said after practice Monday. “So I'm prepared to answer questions. It's just going to be part of my regimen probably to answer questions about that stuff."
At least it’s part of the regimen now, because Best hasn’t played in a game since Oct. 16 of last year. He missed the final 10 games of the regular season and the Lions’ playoff game against the Saints after suffering his second concussion of the season Week 6 against the 49ers. Best said Monday that he’s suffered three concussions in his career – the two last year and the one that ended his college career at California.
"That one I was actually unconscious,” Best said of the concussion he suffered against Oregon State at the end of the 2009 college football season. “So that was totally different. That's why I'm not worried about (this one). If I could come back from that one then this one should be a piece of cake.”
Best has been a full participant in the team’s offseason training program -- including OTAs -- and expects to be cleared for contact in training camp sometime this month. In fact, Best says he hasn’t felt any symptoms since his headaches went away “a couple weeks” after the 49ers game.
Lions head coach Jim Schwartz knows how important Best is to the balance and explosiveness of the Lions offense and says he still might limit Best from time-to-time in training camp even when he's cleared medically.
“There will be some times that we’ll be judicious in his use during training camp, but when he’s out there he’s going to be out there like the other guys,” Schwartz said Monday.
”When you’re a running back, contact is going to be a fact of life. We need to be very diligent to avoid helmet-to-helmet situations in practice.”
For his part, Best says he’s been strengthening his neck this offseason and will investigate new advances in helmets before training camp gets under way.
More than anything, though, Best is looking forward to the day when he’s asked about a Lions win on the field, a win he contributed towards.
"My glass is full,” he said. “I've been off for so long. I am definitely ready to go."