CJ Anderson

CJ Anderson

Running Back #22
Team: Free Agent None
Ht / Wt:5'8" / 224 lb.
College:California
Age:29
Born:February 10, 1991
Drafted:2013 / UDFA

CJ Anderson: Hanging up his cleats

Anderson is retiring from the NFL, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: The 29-year-old Anderson wraps up a career in which he rushed for 3,497 yards and 22 touchdowns while adding 900 yards and five touchdowns as a receiver over 71 appearances after breaking into the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2013. Per Schefter, the next step on Anderson's path is a career in coaching in the college ranks.

September 18, 2020 10:52 AM EST

CJ Anderson: Works out in Seattle

Anderson had a workout with the Seahawks on Monday, Field Yates of ESPN reports.

Analysis: Anderson was cut by the Lions after Week 2 and has been unable to latch on with another team despite multiple workouts. The Seahawks lost Chris Carson (hip) and C.J. Prosise (arm) to season-ending injuriesduring Sunday's loss to the Cardinals, leaving Travis Homer as the only available running back on the roster.

December 23, 2019 2:44 PM EST

CJ Anderson: Working out for Texans

Anderson is working out for the Texans on Tuesday, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: Anderson has been without a team since being released by Detroit on Sep. 17. The 28-year-old took 16 carries for just 42 yards (2.6 YPC) in two games with the Lions this season.

September 24, 2019 10:39 AM EST

CJ Anderson: Cut by Lions

The Lions released Anderson on Wednesday, Tim Twentyman of the Lions' official site reports.

Analysis: In a surprising turn of events, the Lions claimed Paul Perkins off waivers and sent Anderson packing. Anderson had a decent role in the offense Week 1 with 11 carries for 35 yards, but his workload decreased against the Chargers in Week 2 with eight yards on five carries. That production came out to just 2.7 YPC. Kerryon Johnson will now be the unequivocal lead back in Detroit with Perkins, Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic rotating in.

September 17, 2019 2:39 PM EST

CJ Anderson: Downturn in playing time

Anderson rushed five times for eight yards during Sunday's 13-10 victory over the Chargers.

Analysis: After comfortably out-snapping Ty Johnson 24 to eight in Week 1, Anderson was third among Lions running backs with 12 snaps behind Johnson's 13. The sixth-round rookie looked like he should have taken all of them and utimately led the team with 6.0 yards per carry. It'll be interesting to see if there's actually a changing of the guard taking place when Detroit travels to Philadelphia in Week 3.

September 16, 2019 6:26 PM EST

CJ Anderson: Significant role in season opener

Anderson rushed 11 times for 35 yards during Sunday's 27-27 tie with the Cardinals.

Analysis: Kerryon Johnson ultimately led the team with 16 carries, but the workload was just about even between the two running backs throughout most of regulation. While it's still far too soon to tell if either of them is considered the team's primary goal-line back, Anderson is still an injury away from being a reliable fantasy contributor. At this point in time, he shouldn't be considered anything more than Johnson's handcuff in deeper formats.

September 8, 2019 7:07 PM EST

CJ Anderson: Gets eight carries in dress rehearsal

Anderson rushed eight times for 24 yards and secured both of his targets for 17 yards during Friday's preseason game against the Bills.

Analysis: Anderson remains second in line behind Kerryon Johnson for touches, but it's starting to seem possible that Ty Johnson could also cut into Anderson's playing time this season. Ty Johnson, who caught his only pass for an 11-yard touchdown Friday, shares some similarities with the departed Theo Riddick. Perhaps the most significant development for all Lions runners, though, is the possibility that center Frank Ragnow (leg) went down with a potential long-term injury.

August 24, 2019 9:55 AM EST

CJ Anderson: Two carries in preseason loss

Anderson rushed twice for six yards during Saturday's preseason loss to the Texans.

Analysis: Anderson served as the clear No. 2 back behind Kerryon Johnson, but there doesn't seem to be anyone else around to give Anderson competition for the job. He could see more involvement during the third preseason game next Friday against Buffalo.

August 17, 2019 8:39 PM EST

CJ Anderson: Getting reps with first-team offense

Anderson is getting work with the first-team offense during two-minute drills, Chris Burke of the Athletic reports.

Analysis: The Kerryon Johnson hype train has all but left the station after the Lions' recent release of Theo Riddick, but not all signs point toward Johnson being thrust into a true workhorse role. Not only does head coach Matt Patricia hail from a Patriots organization that deployed a committee approach to the running back position, but Anderson seems to have turned heads in training camp and is now getting run with the hurry-up offense. While Johnson should nonetheless earn the lion's share of snaps in 2019, it's possible Anderson could play a bigger role than most people realize -- especially if Johnson continues to struggle in pass protection as he has in recent joint practices with New England.

August 8, 2019 10:10 AM EST

CJ Anderson: Dropping weight for 2019

Anderson promised he will be in better shape for 2019 with the Lions, Marlowe Atler of The Detroit Free Press reports.

Analysis: Anderson admits he played at around 235 pounds late last season with the Rams, but the extra weight didn't prevent him from piling up 488 rushing yards and four touchdowns in five games (including playoffs). He did slow down during the NFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl, averaging just 2.9 yards on 23 carries. Signed to a one-year contract Monday, the 28-year-old likely will return to his listed weight of 225 pounds in preparation for a full season in the Detroit backfield alongside Kerryon Johnson, Theo Riddick and Zach Zenner. While Johnson is a clear favorite to handle the lead role, coach Matt Patricia has left no doubt about his preference for using a committee. There's been some chatter that Riddick could be released to clear out $3.7 million in cap space and leave more snaps for Johnson/Anderson.

April 2, 2019 9:08 AM EST

CJ Anderson: Lands in Detroit

Anderson signed a one-year contract with the Lions on Monday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Analysis: The 28-year-old veteran will continue his career in Detroit after the Rams did not re-sign him. Anderson began the 2018 season with the Carolina Panthers, where he rushed for only 104 yards across nine games. His stock quickly rose when the Rams signed him as veteran insurance in December, as Anderson produced explosively with 43 carries for 299 yards and two touchdowns in two regular season games (7.0 YPC), and 46 carries for 189 yards and two touchdowns across three playoff games (4.1 YPC). The exact terms of Anderson's deal with the Lions remains undisclosed, but Anderson will receive a chance to produce in 2019 and hit free agency once again in 2020. It appears likely that Detroit intends to take a committee approach to the backfield, with Anderson and Kerryon Johnson at the helm.

April 1, 2019 3:45 PM EST

CJ Anderson: Expects to find new team

Anderson suggested Friday on Twitter that he doesn't expect to re-sign with the Rams.

Analysis: While it isn't clear the two events are related, Anderson's tweet was posted about an hour after Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the Rams will match Detroit's two-year, $3.25 million offer sheet for running back Malcolm Brown, who missed Weeks 14-17 and all of the playoffs after he suffered a broken clavicle in early December. His injury opened the door for the Rams to sign Anderson, who then took over the starting gig when Todd Gurley (knee) suffered an injury of his own. Anderson's strong performance in December theoretically boosted his value, but Friday's string of tweets suggest he's frustrated with an inability to find a secure workload as a free agent. The 28-year-old running back points out that he's never had the chance to handle a lead role without sharing a significant portion of carries with a younger player. Anderson should't have too much trouble drumming up interest, but he'll likely have to settle for a backup role and/or another opportunity to earn his snaps.

March 22, 2019 7:45 AM EST

CJ Anderson: Shut down by Patriots

Anderson had seven carries for 22 yards and two catches for 12 yards on three targets in a 13-3 loss to New England in the Super Bowl.

Analysis: Anderson played 34 percent of snaps on offense, while Todd Gurley handled 66 but finished with just 34 yards on 11 touches. Both running backs struggled for a second straight game, and this time the Rams' passing offense wasn't able to pick up the slack. Anderson can now prepare to hit the open market for a second straight offseason, following an unusual 2018 campaign in which he was an afterthought for the Panthers but then played a crucial role in a Super Bowl run for the Rams. He'll celebrate his 28th birthday in February and may want to ditch Los Angeles in favor of a location where he'd have a shot at a starting job. On the other hand, he might be able to prolong his career if he sticks around as the No. 2 back behind Gurley.

February 4, 2019 7:08 AM EST

CJ Anderson: Rids himself of designation

Anderson (illness) practiced in full Friday and didn't have a designation on the Rams' injury report, Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Anderson made a sudden appearance on Thursday's estimated report as a non-participant due to an illness, but it merely was a temporary concern. He now will prepare in earnest for Super Bowl LIII against the Patriots, who will attempt to stop the Rams' two-headed backfield monster of Anderson and Todd Gurley. While Anderson was leaned on more than Gurley in the team's comeback victory in the NFC Championship Game, it wouldn't surprise if roles were reversed due to letter's standing as one of football's highest-paid running backs.

January 25, 2019 6:03 PM EST

CJ Anderson: Comes down with illness

Anderson didn't practice Thursday due to an illness.

Analysis: Fortunately, Anderson has fallen ill during the lull before the Super Bowl. He's fared quite well since joining the Rams in late December, compiling 488 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns in four games. In two postseason outings with Todd Gurley back in action, Anderson has superseded the former at times, including picking up 37 snaps on offense to Gurley's 32 in the NFC Championship Game. Whether that's the case in the Super Bowl remains to be seen, but Rams may keep both consistently involved, especially if Anderson's illness becomes a long-term concern.

January 24, 2019 4:39 PM EST

CJ Anderson: Surprisingly keeps lead-back role

Anderson rushed 16 times for 44 yards and brought in his only target for five yards during the Rams' 26-23 overtime win over the Saints in Sunday's NFC Championship Game.

Analysis: Anderson saw 12 more rushing touches than Todd Gurley, a shocking development given Gurley's alleged clean bill of health and the importance of the game itself. The veteran back was nowhere near as effective in terms of raw production compared to his first three games in a Rams uniform, but that was to be expected against a stingy Saints front. Anderson was able to get some key yards on multiple carries, however, doing just enough to keep New Orleans honest. In-game reports emphasized there was nothing wrong with Gurley physically, so it will be intriguing to see what the extent of Anderson's role will be in the Super Bowl.

January 20, 2019 4:35 PM EST

CJ Anderson: Exposes Cowboys in divisional round

Anderson rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries during Saturday's 30-22 win against Dallas.

Analysis: Anderson has been an absolute workhorse in three appearances for Los Angeles since Week 16, amassing 422 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 66 combined attempts against the Cardinals, 49ers and Cowboys. With Todd Gurley having just returned from a knee injury that cost him the final two games of the regular season, Anderson was entrusted with 23 of 39 running back carries, dicing up a dominant Cowboys front seven for 5.3 yards per carry after it allowed just 3.8 yards per attempt during the regular season. Awaiting in the NFC championship game will be a challenging matchup for Anderson regardless of who prevails Sunday between the Eagles and Saints, as neither defense has allowed more than 97 rushing yards per game this year (both teams rank top seven in the category).

January 12, 2019 9:29 PM EST

CJ Anderson: May have regular role in playoffs

Although Todd Gurley (knee) is expected to return for the Rams' divisional-round matchup on Saturday, Jan. 12, Anderson may keep a steady role within the offense, Myles Simmons of the team's official site reports.

Analysis: Anderson took full advantage of Gurley's absence in Weeks 16 and 17, parlaying 43 carries into 299 yards and two touchdowns while reeling in four of his six targets for 17 yards. Coach Sean McVay is of the belief that Gurley will be available for the Rams' postseason opener, but Anderson's performance seemingly will ensure regular touches out of the backfield, especially if the inflammation in Gurley's knee lingers. Prior to Anderson's arrival in LA, Gurley didn't yield many reps to the other running backs on the roster, though, so it's difficult to forecast what kind of workload the former can expect if the latter is good to go.

January 5, 2019 1:23 PM EST

CJ Anderson: Produces again as fill-in

Anderson rushed 23 times for 132 yards and a touchdown while catching all three targets for 22 yards in Sunday's 48-32 win over San Francisco.

Analysis: Anderson was a force in the run game for the second straight game, as he has 43 carries for 299 yards (7.0 YPC) and two touchdowns since joining the Rams Dec. 18. Todd Gurley (knee) will now have two weeks to recover before Los Angeles hosts the divisional round game, but Anderson has shown more than enough to feel comfortable with him in the backfield. Granted, the run defenses in the NFC playoffs are better than the likes of Arizona and San Francisco, but the 27-year-old shined despite only briefly being with the Rams.

December 30, 2018 5:07 PM EST

CJ Anderson: Will get starting nod Sunday

Coach Sean McVay called Anderson the Rams' starting running back for Sunday's game versus the 49ers in the absence of Todd Gurley (knee), Myles Simmons of the Rams' official site reports.

Analysis: The decision to hold out Gurley for a second consecutive contest likely was made easier by Anderson's performance Week 16. After less than a week of practice with his new squad, Anderson ripped apart the porous Cardinals run defense for 167 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries. He'll attempt to approach those numbers against a San Francisco unit that has allowed 23.4 rushes for 99.8 yards and one TD on the ground per game to running backs over the last five outings.

December 28, 2018 12:58 PM EST

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