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Kerryon Johnson

Kerryon Johnson

Running Back #33
ADP:Round: 7, Pick: 4
Team: Detroit Lions
Ht / Wt:5'11" / 213 lb.
College:Auburn
Age:23
Born:June 30, 1997
Drafted:2018 / Rd. 2 (43)
Draft Team:DET

Kerryon Johnson: No longer lead dog

General manager Bob Quinn said he views Johnson and second-round draft pick D'Andre Swift as complements to each other, Michael Rothstein of ESPN reports.

Analysis: It's no secret that head coach Matt Patricia prefers a running-back-by-committee approach. When also considering the fact that Johnson has missed 14 games through his first two seasons, it's not surprising that Detroit was willing to spend a second-pick on another running back despite having already spent a second-rounder on Johnson back in 2018. With that said, Swift appears to be the superior prospect to Johnson as both a runner and pass catcher, and it's not unreasonable to think the rookie could take over as the lead running back sooner than later in 2020. Johnson -- and Bo Scarbrough, to a much lesser extent -- will probably still be involved in the rushing attack no matter what, but Swift likely possesses the greatest upside.

April 28, 2020 5:06 PM EST

Kerryon Johnson: Finds end zone in final contest

Johnson recorded 11 carries for 53 yards and a touchdown in the team's Week 17 loss to the Packers.

Analysis: Johnson worked effectively in his second game back from injured reserve, ripping off long runs of 20 and 14 yards. He also punched in his third touchdown of the season, finding the end zone from one-yard out late in the second quarter. Though his 2019 season was derailed by a knee injury, Johnson should serve as the Lions lead back in 2020 and will likely be touted as a top breakout candidate.

December 29, 2019 5:12 PM EST

Kerryon Johnson: 10 carries in return from injury

Johnson ran for 42 yards on 10 carries and caught his only target for one yard during Sunday's 27-17 loss to Denver.

Analysis: In his first action since Week 7, Johnson garnered 10 of Detroit's 21 running back carries while chalking up a respectable 4.2 yards-per-carry average. Prior to his mid-game knee injury against the Vikings Oct. 20, Johnson had amassed a hefty 17.4 carries per game but managed a measly 3.3 yards per rush on those attempts. Johnson remains a limited contributor in the Lions' passing game, but he could prove to be a viable fantasy play Week 17 against a Green Bay defense that is surrendering 120.9 yards per game on the ground this year.

December 22, 2019 5:27 PM EST

Kerryon Johnson: Returns to action Sunday

Johnson (knee) is listed as active Sunday at Denver.

Analysis: After Johnson completed his rehab from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, the Lions officially elevated him to the 53-man roster Saturday. On Sunday morning, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Johnson is slated to get "significant carries" in his first game action since Week 7. In the five games that he's completed this season, Johnson averaged 19.2 touches for 82.2 yards from scrimmage per game while scoring three touchdowns. If he's indeed a bell cow Sunday, he'll push fellow running backs Bo Scarbrough (ribs), Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic down the depth chart.

December 22, 2019 11:40 AM EST

Kerryon Johnson: Could get heavy use in return

Johnson (knee) is expected to receive "significant" carries in Sunday's game against the Broncos, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: Even though the Lions just activated Johnson from injured reserve one day ago following an eight-game layoff, Rapoport's report suggests the team's lead back won't be eased back into the mix. If that's the case, Johnson could approach the 17.4 carries he averaged in his five full games prior to suffering the knee injury, though the game script could call for lesser work on the ground if the Lions fall behind early. At 3-10-1, the Lions aren't incentivized to overextended Johnson in their final four games, but the uncertain status of Bo Scarbrough (ribs) could prompt Detroit to rely on Johnson to carry the running game out of necessity. Ty Johnson, Wes Hills and J.D. McKissic are the Lions' remaining depth options, with none of those players having shown much promise as ballcarriers this season.

December 22, 2019 6:31 AM EST

Kerryon Johnson: Comes off IR

Johnson (knee) was activated off injured reserve Saturday, Field Yates of ESPN reports.

Analysis: The Lions seemed to tip their hand with this one, leaving an open roster spot Friday for the likely return of Johnson from injured reserve. The second-year running back has not played since Week 7 after undergoing surgery on his knee, but it's entirely possible Johnson might be forced into a large role if Bo Scarbrough (ribs), who is listed as questionable, is eventually ruled out ahead of Sunday's contest against the Broncos. Ty Johnson, J.D. McKissic and Wes Hills all loom as potential options for a running-back-by-committee approach, however, so don't expect Johnson to immediately assume his usage from earlier this season.

December 21, 2019 1:14 PM EST

Kerryon Johnson: On track for activation

Johnson (knee) may be activated to the 53-man roster Saturday, Chris Burke of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: The Lions currently have an open roster spot, which suggests they plan to remove Johnson from injured reserve before Sunday's game in Denver. Multiple beat reporters have suggested that the running back's activity level in practice provides another hint in favor of a Week 16 return to the lineup. It isn't clear how the Lions will divide backfield snaps and touches if Johnson indeed achieves active status, with Bo Scarbrough (ribs), Ty Johnson, J.D. McKissic and Wes Hills each getting some degree of work at various points within the past few weeks. Kerryon would probably be the best bet to lead the team in carries, but that doesn't come with any guarantees.

December 20, 2019 2:54 PM EST

Kerryon Johnson: Still eyeing Week 16 return

Johnson (knee) said Thursday that he's getting stronger by the week and "hopes to" play Sunday against the Broncos, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Johnson resumed practicing with the Lions on Dec. 4, but since he remains on injured reserve rather than a member of the 53-man roster, the team hasn't had to disclose the extent of his participation in workouts. While Johnson's absence from practice reports has made his progress difficult to track, Chris Burke of The Athletic relays that the running back looks ready for game action based on what he witnessed during the portion of Thursday's session that was open to the media. Though Johnson would probably agree with Burke's assessment, a decision on the running back's Week 16 status will ultimately be up to the Lions' brass. If Johnson is activated from IR and suits up in Denver, the Lions would likely have him split snaps with Bo Scarbrough (ribs) in a measure to preserve both backs as they ease back in following injuries.

December 19, 2019 2:20 PM EST

Kerryon Johnson: Says he's setback-free

Johnson (knee) said Friday that he hasn't experienced any setbacks since undergoing surgery in November to repair a torn meniscus, Justin Rogers of The Detroit News reports.

Analysis: The 3-9-1 Lions have little to play for at this stage, but that isn't stopping Johnson from working toward rejoining the 53-man roster as soon as Week 16 in Denver. Johnson, who resumed practicing Dec. 4, has drawn favorable reviews from coach Matt Patricia since returning to work, but the Lions will see how the second-year tailback looks next week before determining his availability for game action. If Johnson does play in either of the final two games, he'll likely be deployed as part of a timeshare with Bo Scarbrough, who has performed well as the Lions' lead option on the ground since joining the team four weeks ago.

December 13, 2019 2:49 PM EST

Kerryon Johnson: Week 16 return remains possible

Johnson (knee) still has a chance to return to action before the regular season is over, according to Chris Burke of The Athletic.

Analysis: Johnson is not eligible to return to action until Week 16, but head coach Matt Patricia provided a positive report on his status when asked Friday, and even though the Lions have been eliminated from playoff contention, there's a chance Johnson could get back on the field. Johnson's progress over the next week or so will ultimately determine whether or not that happens.

December 13, 2019 8:40 AM EST

Kerryon Johnson: Designated for return from IR

Johnson (knee) returned to practice Wednesday, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports.

Analysis: Johnson spent the last six weeks of the season on injured reserve after undergoing a procedure on his right knee. His return to practice kicks off a 21-day window for the Lions to evaluate him for activation to the 53-man roster, and he could retake the field as soon as Week 16 against the Broncos if healthy. For the time being, Bo Scarbrough and J.D. McKissic will continue to lead Detroit's backfield.

December 4, 2019 9:34 AM EST

Kerryon Johnson: Inefficiency continues

Johnson rushed 13 times for 34 yards and one touchdown while catching two of four targets for 27 yards during Monday's 23-22 loss to the Packers.

Analysis: Johnson was largely shut down by a Packers defense that has been repetitively gashed by running backs this season. Thankfully, the second-year pro barely managed to cross the goal line on fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line. Otherwise, it was a relatively bleak performance from the Auburn product, who's now averaged under 3.6 yards per carry in four of five games this year. It could prove difficult for him to improve his efficiency in Week 7 against a Vikings defense that ranks eighth in the league with 3.8 rushing yards allowed per carry. Not to mention, Minnesota is the only defense league-wide that has allowed one or less rushing touchdowns through six games in 2019.

October 14, 2019 9:17 PM EST

Kerryon Johnson: Shows improvement in loss

Johnson ran for 125 yards on 26 carries and added 32 yards on a pair of catches during Sunday's 34-30 loss to Kansas City.

Analysis: It wasn't a dazzling game for Johnson, who lost his second career fumble, but his 125 rushing yards were just one fewer than his three-game total heading into the game. Coming into the game, Johnson was averaging just 2.6 yards per carry, less than half his rookie rate from 2018. He may have turned a corner Sunday and just in time as the Lions next play a Packers team in Week 6 that -- while tough to start the season -- has been exposed in the running game.

September 29, 2019 3:16 PM EST

Kerryon Johnson: Completely stonewalled in win

Johnson rushed 20 times for 36 yards and a touchdown and brought in his only target for seven yards in the Lions' 27-24 win over the Eagles on Sunday.

Analysis: As his final numbers indicate, Johnson could get absolutely nothing going on the ground, with his one-yard touchdown run with 14:09 remaining in the second quarter serving as the only highlight of the afternoon for the second-year back. Johnson did did encouragingly receive almost all of the carries for the Lions with C.J. Anderson no longer around to vulture opportunities, but he's now averaged 3.4 yards per carry or less in each of his first three games of the season. Johnson will look for a significant boost in efficiency at home in Week 4 versus a Chiefs defense that allowed three rushing scores to Mark Ingram in Week 3.

September 22, 2019 1:48 PM EST

Kerryon Johnson: Salvages day with receiving score

Johnson rushed 12 times for 41 yards and caught two of three targets for 47 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 13-10 victory over the Chargers.

Analysis: Johnson showcased some tackle-breaking ability at times and ultimately salvaged his fantasy output with a 36-yard score on a screen pass, but most of the game he was bottled up by a Chargers defense that allowed Marlon Mack to run wild in the season opener. C.J. Anderson only had five carries for eight yards, but the Lions also gave nine touches to rookie Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic. Kerryon Johnson's upside is capped hard by this clear committee situation and it's hard to see that changing anytime soon. Thankfully his Week 3 outlook is boosted by the fact that the Eagles no longer have stud defensive tackle Malik Jackson (foot) available to play.

September 15, 2019 1:43 PM EST

Kerryon Johnson: Splits carries with Anderson

Johnson rushed 16 times for 49 yards and secured both of his targets for 13 receiving yards during Sunday's 27-27 tie with the Cardinals.

Analysis: Many were holding out hope for Johnson to handle a true feature role in a post-Theo Riddick offense, but the threat of a running-back-by-committee was all but realized Sunday as Johnson split the backfield fairly evenly with C.J. Anderson. Going into the final offensive drive of the fourth quarter, Johnson logged only 13 rushing attempts compared to 11 for Anderson, while Ty Johnson had another for good measure. Adding further disappointment is that Detroit had a positive game script the majority of the game, and this was coming against last year's worst run defense. On the flip side, early indications suggest this up-and-coming offense will be moving the ball more efficiently than last year, making it seem as if Johnson should have no problem eventually topping the three rushing touchdowns he generated as a rookie.

September 8, 2019 6:35 PM EST

Kerryon Johnson: Logs two carries against Bills

Johnson rushed twice for four yards and caught one of two targets for seven yards during Friday's preseason game against Buffalo.

Analysis: During a game in which quarterback Matthew Stafford played well into the second quarter, Johnson was done after the first. However, it's interesting that C.J. Anderson got the second drive completely to himself while Johnson handled the first and the majority of the third. Aside from Anderson, rookie Ty Johnson also saw snaps with the first-teamers and ultimately caught an 11-yard touchdown. More important than anything, though, is the possibility that Detroit could be without stud center Frank Ragnow (leg) for the foreseeable future after the 2018 first-round pick went down with a potentially serious injury during Friday's game.

August 24, 2019 10:10 AM EST

Kerryon Johnson: Looks good in return to field

Johnson rushed three times for 17 yards during Saturday's preseason game against Houston.

Analysis: Johnson had another run called back on an illegal blocking penalty and looked good overall in his first taste of live action since Week 11 of last season. He should see more run in the third preseason tilt next Friday against the Bills.

August 17, 2019 8:33 PM EST

Kerryon Johnson: Performing well as receiver

Johnson is performing well as a receiver during training camp, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com reports.

Analysis: Johnson could play a significant role in Detroit's passing game this season, especially after the team parted ways with Theo Riddick in late July. However, Johnson's reported struggles in pass protection aren't a good look if he wants to hold down a featured role in 2019. Tim Twentyman of the Lions' official site specifically noted how Johnson struggled against Patriots linebackers and safeties during recent joint practices. It's possible Johnson will redeem himself during the remainder of the preseason, but C.J. Anderson figures to have some sort of role in the offense either way and it's possible the Lions could also make use of the speedy Ty Johnson at times, too.

August 7, 2019 9:16 PM EST

Kerryon Johnson: Healthy and ready to roll

Johnson has made a full recovery from last year's knee injury and doesn't have any limitations during offseason workouts, ESPN.com's Michael Rothstein reports.

Analysis: Johnson was on pace for 1,366 scrimmage yards, 51 catches and 6.4 touchdowns before a knee sprain Week 11 knocked him out for the final six games of his rookie season. His mark of 5.4 yards per carry was the most impressive part, and it may have played a role in the Lions' decision to hire run-first offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell as a replacement for Jim Bob Cooter. The second-year running back referred to the change as "good news for me" -- a nod to Bevell's history with run-heavy offenses in Seattle, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. The Lions still have Theo Riddick for passing downs and replaced LeGarrette Blount (free agent) with an upgrade in C.J. Anderson, but there's no question Johnson is slated for the lead backfield role. After making major investments in their offensive line the past three offseasons, the Lions shifted their focus to tight end in 2019, signing Jesse James to a four-year contract and then drafting T.J Hockenson at No. 8 overall.

May 3, 2019 6:45 AM EST

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