The Lions released Jahvid Best in July 2013. (Daniel Mears / Detroit News)
Former Lions running back Jahvid Best has filed a lawsuit against the NFL and helmet manufacturer Riddell in Wayne County Circuit Court, according to reports.
A Lions spokesman said he was aware of the lawsuit, but declined comment because the team is not involved.
Best's attorney did not return multiple calls regarding the lawsuit. A Wayne County court clerk said the filing could not be transmitted late Tuesday afternoon.
Best is seeking damages, both economic and non-economic, from the NFL, arguing the league did not do enough to protect players from head injuries despite having decades of evidence showing a connection between professional football and the injuries, according to a report. The report did not include a dollar amount for which Best is suing.
Best suffered three concussions with the Lions after being drafted in the first round in 2010. The last one, suffered in October 2011, forced him to miss the entire 2012 season, and the Lions released him in July 2013.
During the 2012 season, Best took a battery of neurological exams to try to return to the field, but failed the tests.
Best also suffered two concussions during his college career at Cal, including one in which he fell on his neck after being flipped into the end zone in November 2009 that forced him to miss the rest of his junior season. He gave up his final year of college eligibility to enter the NFL draft.
At the NFL combine in 2010, Best ran the 40-yard dash in 4.34 seconds, which helped alleviate concerns about his history of concussions. The Lions made a trade with the Minnesota Vikings for the 30th overall pick in the draft, where they selected Best.
In 22 games with the Lions in 2010 and 2011, Best had 255 carries for 945 yards, 85 catches for 774 yards and nine total touchdowns.
The report also claims Best has a worker's compensation claim pending against the Lions. The team spokesman said the Lions do not comment on such cases.
Best is reportedly returning to Cal to finish his degree and join the Golden Bears' coaching staff as a student assistant next season.