"Yeah, Champagne is home but Chicago's not far away," Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said of his second-year back. "I know he's got a lot of family and friends coming. I know he's really excited. Those are all special ties for guys, especially young players. He's going to have a little extra incentive to go and show what he can do."
We've had three chances now to see what Leshoure can do and the early results have been pretty good.
He debuted with 100 yards and a touchdown Week 3 against the Titans. He ran tough, finished runs and proved he could carry the load with 26 carries.
He took a step back in the team's home loss to the Vikings the following week with just 26 yards on 13 carries. He was dealing with slight groin injury leading up to the game.
Last week at Philadelphia, Leshoure rebounded with 70 yards and a 4.7 yards-per-rush average against a good Eagles run defense. He was getting up the field, running tough and it was probably his most efficient game as a Lion.
"He took, I don't want to say a step back, but Week 2 he was banged up a little bit," head coach Jim Schwartz said. "His second week he didn't look the same.
"He was very efficient in the first week but didn't break off a whole lot of, you know, kind of longer runs. But I thought last week we saw definite improvement from him. You know, from yards per carry, from aggressiveness and making cuts and getting north, He's improving every game."
The key part of that quote from Schwartz was the north-and-south bit. Leshoure was decisive Sunday in Philadelphia and got up the field. Against the Vikings, he was more hesitant, which ultimately led to a below-average performance. One can only guess how much the groin injury played a part of that.
"Yeah, well you saw the first game. Very solid first game," Linehan said of Leshoure. "Second game he was coming off of being pretty sore and not really having his sea legs yet.
"He was able to come back after the bye and really see some production. You see big backs like that as the game wears on, you really saw him start to heat up and warm up getting into the second half. So I think that's going to be his style. He's got to obviously be a guy that you can give the ball to a number of snaps and hold up through four quarters."
Leshoure could find in tough sledding against a Bears defense that's No. 1 in the NFL against the run, allowing just 65.8 yards per game. They have yet to allow a 100-yard rusher this season and no back has gained more than 81 yards (Cedric Benson) against them.
As far a homecomings go, the Bears are no cream puff and Leshoure is going to have work to impress family and friends.