Ty Johnson

Ty Johnson

Running Back #24
Team: Detroit Lions
Ht / Wt:5'10" / 213 lb.
College:Maryland
Age:
Born:None
Drafted:2019 / Rd. 6 (186)
Draft Team:DET

Ty Johnson: Potentially on roster bubble

Johnson could be on the roster bubble entering the 2020 season, Chris Burke of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: It's a bit surprising to see Johnson fall so far down the team's depth chart, particularly after a rookie season in which he piled together 382 total yards despite playing just 318 snaps. However, after the Lions took two running backs in the 2020 NFL Draft -- D'Andre Swift in the second round and Jason Huntley in the fifth -- it appears as if Johnson's skillset as a multi-tooled athlete may be redundant. Huntley's role in particular could spell doom for Johnson, as the fifth-round selection was a capable returner in college while putting together a decent resume as an open-field pass-catcher. The two figure to be in a heated competition for the final running back spot on the depth chart behind Swift, Kerryon Johnson and Bo Scarbrough.

April 29, 2020 9:03 AM EST

Ty Johnson: No lock for 2020 roster

Johnson isn't guaranteed a roster spot in advance of the 2020 season, Chris Burke of the Athletic reports.

Analysis: On the surface, Johnson's 4.3 yards per carry from 2019 seems respectable for a sixth-round rookie. Take out his 40-yard scamper from Week 17, though, and that number drops to 3.8, which seems much more representative of a player who seemingly struggled as a runner on a weekly basis. In fact, it's hard to say Johnson fared well as a receiving option either considering he averaged just 4.5 yards on his 24 receptions. Add it all up and Johnson may be dependent on an impressive showing in offseason workouts -- and Detroit not spending any premium capital on another running back this offseason -- to stick around behind Kerryon Johnson and Bo Scarbrough in 2020.

February 14, 2020 12:30 PM EST

Ty Johnson: Makes most of limited opportunity

Johnson carried the ball three times for 65 yards in the team's Week 17 loss to the Packers.

Analysis: Johnson worked behind both Kerryon Johnson and Bo Scarbrough, but finished the contest as the Lions' leading rusher. The majority of his production came on 40-yard run that came with only 20 seconds remaining in the first half, ultimately setting up a field goal as time expired. Johnson spent a few weeks as the team's primary running back in the absence of Kerryon Johnson (knee), though he'll begin the 2020 season strictly as a backup with a healthier depth chart in front of him.

December 29, 2019 5:25 PM EST

Ty Johnson: Three carries in Johnson's return

Johnson carried three times for 20 yards during Sunday's 27-17 loss to Denver.

Analysis: With Kerryon Johnson and Bo Scarbrough back from their respective injuries, Johnson remained on the active roster while last week's featured back, Wes Hills, was a healthy scratch. Johnson might get another handful of carries in Sunday's season finale against Green Bay, but he'll most certainly remain a distant third option in this backfield behind Johnson and Scarbrough.

December 23, 2019 6:57 PM EST

Ty Johnson: Six touches in backup role

Johnson rushed twice for three yards and caught four of five targets for 17 yards while fumbling once during Sunday's 38-17 loss to Tampa Bay.

Analysis: Despite pre-game reports listing Johnson as the expected starter, it was actually Wes Hills -- who had been promoted from the practice squad Saturday -- who opened the game with the first-string offense. While Johnson still finished the game having logged more offensive snaps, Hills had five times as many carries and both of the Lions' rushing scores on the day. That works out to Hills getting the ball on over half of his snaps while Johnson got the rock on less than a quarter of his. While it's still more or less clear that Detroit is wanting to get Johnson some experience during his rookie year, the fact that two runners have now gone from the practice squad straight to the lead role -- bypassing Johnson in the process -- suggests the Lions aren't yet ready to hand Johnson the kind of workload that could make him a desirable fantasy asset.

December 16, 2019 11:07 AM EST

Ty Johnson: Draws Week 15 start

The Lions announced Johnson as their starting running back for Sunday's game against the Buccaneers, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com reports.

Analysis: Johnson will apparently be on the field for the Lions' first offensive snap of the day, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he'll be in store to fill the lead role out of the backfield as Detroit looks to replace the injured Bo Scarbrough (ribs). As Justin Rogers of The Detroit News noted earlier Sunday, practice squad callup Wes Hills was spotted taking first-team reps during pregame warmups, and J.D. McKissic also lingers as another option out of the backfield. Most likely, coach Matt Patricia will take a hot-hand approach to the position, making it difficult to forecast which of the three backs will deliver the most fantasy value.

December 15, 2019 9:56 AM EST

Ty Johnson: May see role increase sans Scarbrough

Johnson and J.D. McKissic are expected to headline the Lions' Week 15 backfield with Bo Scarbrough (ribs) ruled out for Sunday's game against the Buccaneers, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Scarbrough had operated as Detroit's lead option on the ground for the past four games, but his inactive status leaves Johnson, McKissic and practice squad callup Wes Hills as the lone healthy options at running back. Given Hills' lack of prior experience, Johnson and McKissic look like the best bets for touches and production out of the Detroit backfield, with coach Matt Patricia likely to ride the hot hand between the two. A rookie sixth-round pick, Johnson has disappointed in most of his opportunities to date, averaging just 3.4 yards per carry (on 55 totes) and 4.6 yards per reception (on 20 catches) while having yet to find the end zone.

December 15, 2019 9:03 AM EST

Ty Johnson: Minimal role

Johnson carried the ball twice for three yards in the team's Week 14 loss to the Vikings. He also added one reception for seven yards.

Analysis: Johnson's role continued to shrink as he lacked involvement in both the passing and rushing game. Bo Scarbrough accounted for 19 of the team's 22 rushing attempts, causing Johnson to tally his lowest carry total since Week 1. Johnson's targets also shrunk, with J.D. McKissic drawing four targets out of the backfield. To make matters worse, Johnson will draw a stiff matchup against the Buccaneers in Week 15 against the Buccaneers.

December 8, 2019 4:03 PM EST

Ty Johnson: Totals 29 yards

Johnson rushed three times for 12 yards and caught all three of his targets for 17 yards during Thursday's 24-20 loss to the Bears.

Analysis: Johnson unsurprisingly remained firmly entrenched behind newly-established workhorse Bo Scarbrough, who was given the ball on 21 of the 36 snaps he was on the field. Compare that to Johnson's six touches on 25 snaps, and it's clear who Detroit wants to be carrying the load. While Johnson at least seems to have a bigger role than J.D. McKissic, the latter is adept in pass protection and has easily been the more explosive player when the ball is in his hands. With that said, Thursday's loss officially knocked the Lions out of playoff contention, and it's possible the fifth-round rookie could continue to get more work than McKissic down the stretch with Detroit's focus now on 2020 and beyond.

November 29, 2019 11:04 AM EST

Ty Johnson: In Scarbrough's shadow

Johnson rushed four times for 11 yards and caught both of his targets for 10 yards during Sunday's 19-16 loss to Washington.

Analysis: While it's worth noting that Johnson did handle 27 offensive snaps Sunday compared to 38 for Bo Scarbrough, it's also hard to ignore that the latter's ascendance is starting to make Johnson almost entirely irrelevant for fantasy purposes. Not only was Scarbrough much more effective with his touches while running for 98 yards on 18 carries, but Johnson is now averaging 3.4 yards per carry through his first 11 games as a pro and the Maryland product hasn't provided many reasons for an expanded role as the season winds down.

November 25, 2019 11:40 AM EST

Ty Johnson: Limited in loss to Dallas

Johnson carried two times for six yards and caught his only target for no gain during Sunday's 35-27 loss to the Cowboys.

Analysis: Johnson took a back seat to the newly-signed Bo Scarbrough in the run game and watched on as J.D. McKissic led the backfield in receptions. He did little with the opportunities he was given and seems to be losing traction as an option for Detroit. As such, Johnson seems unlikely to make a major impact next Sunday against the Redskins.

November 17, 2019 3:17 PM EST

Ty Johnson: Cleared of concussion

Johnson does not carry an injury designation into Sunday's contest after clearing concussion protocol.

Analysis: As a result of clearing concussion protocol, Johnson is set to play Sunday against the Cowboys. Since Kerryon Johnson was placed on injured reserve in Week 7, Ty Johnson has been less than spectacular filling in as the nominal starter, averaging just 3.3 yards-per-carry across 21 attempts. Unfortunately for fantasy owners looking to take advantage of the fluid Lions' backfield, fellow backup J.D. McKissic has also been a nonfactor, most notably recording just 36 yards rushing in Week 10 despite seeing 70 percent of the offensive snaps.

November 16, 2019 9:54 AM EST

Ty Johnson: Questionable for Week 11

Johnson (concussion) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Cowboys.

Analysis: The rookie will still need to gain clearance from an independent neurologist before getting the green light to play this weekend, but he looks on track to return to action after a concussion knocked him out early in the Week 10 loss to the Bears. After opening the week as a non-participant in practice, Johnson advanced to limited work Thursday before taking full contact in Friday's session. If active, Johnson would likely share backfield snaps with J.D. McKissic and Paul Perkins.

November 15, 2019 1:09 PM EST

Ty Johnson: Limited in practice

Johnson (concussion) was a limited participant in Thursday's practice.

Analysis: Considering he was a non-participant Wednesday in the Lions' first practice of the week, Johnson's ability to take part in non-contact work Thursday implies he's made some progress through the NFL's concussion protocol. In order to have a shot at playing Sunday against the Cowboys, Johnson will ultimately need to receive clearance from an independent neurologist at some point before the contest. The Lions would lean on J.D. McKissic and Paul Perkins to split the backfield work in the event Johnson is sidelined this weekend.

November 14, 2019 1:19 PM EST

Ty Johnson: Back at practice Thursday

Johnson (concussion) returned to practice Thursday, Justin Rogers of The Detroit News reports.

Analysis: The development is a positive one as Johnson works his way through the concussion suffered this past Sunday in Chicago. His level of participation isn't known, but he likely will be listed as limited on Thursday's injury report. The Lions' remaining healthy backfield options are J.D. McKissic, Paul Perkins and Nick Bawden.

November 14, 2019 10:24 AM EST

Ty Johnson: No practice Wednesday

Johnson (concussion) didn't practice Wednesday.

Analysis: Johnson is still working his way through the concussion protocol after exiting Sunday's loss to the Bears with the head injury. In the event that Johnson is unable to pass the five-step protocol ahead of this weekend's game against Dallas, the Lions would be left with a backfield consisting of J.D. McKissic, Paul Perkins and fullback Nick Bawden.

November 13, 2019 1:05 PM EST

Ty Johnson: Season low in playing time

Johnson did not log a rushing attempt and was not targeted in the passing game during Monday's 23-22 loss to the Packers.

Analysis: Not only were Johnson's two offensive snaps easily a season low, but it was significantly less than the 14 snaps J.D. McKissic was given. The rookie is firmly the No. 3 running back in Detroit at this point and it seems highly unlikely that will change anytime soon.

October 15, 2019 2:56 PM EST

Ty Johnson: Not secure in No. 2 role

Johnson rushed three times for 13 yards while catching his only target for one yard during Sunday's 34-30 loss to Kansas City.

Analysis: It may have been premature to anoint Johnson as the No. 2 option behind Kerryon Johnson in the wake of C.J. Anderson's dismissal. As it turns out, J.D. McKissic is also looking like he'll be a big part of the Lions' plans and on Sunday he ultimately finished with more rushing attempts (four), targets (two) and total yards than (41) Johnson. As a former receiver, McKissic is a natural fit as a receiving back and that extra dimension could frequently earn him more playing time than Johnson whenever Detroit needs to pass the ball.

September 29, 2019 3:40 PM EST

Ty Johnson: Bottled up in Philly

Johnson ran for five yards on four carries and did not gain any yardage on his lone reception during Sunday's 27-24 win in Philadelphia.

Analysis: With the release of C.J. Anderson, Johnson was supposed to be the primary backup behind Kerryon Johnson. That ended up being the case as his four carries were second on the team, but -- in a game in which both Johnsons struggled -- veteran J.D. McKissic, who followed offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell from Seattle, made the biggest splash -- a 44-yard run. One carry in one game shouldn't trump an entire offseason, but Johnson is in a situation in which he is a bit of an unknown and not the clear favorite behind a starting running back who is going to hog touches.

September 24, 2019 4:13 PM EST

Ty Johnson: Poised for increased role

Johnson will take over as the Lions' No. 2 running back after C.J. Anderson was released, Tim Twentyman of the Lions' official site reports.

Analysis: Johnson was efficient but not overly productive for Maryland in college, generating 7.7 YPC, 506 yards and three touchdowns in his senior season. The rookie sixth-round pick impressed during limited action Week 2 versus the Chargers, rushing six times for 36 yards and catching both of his targets for six yards. Johnson has the foundation to be a stud as well with a 4.26-second 40-yard dash, and the Lions clearly feel comfortable with him if they released Anderson. The Lions fed Anderson 16 touches through the first two games, and Johnson figures to absorb a good chunk of those moving forward, although he's still playing second fiddle behind Kerryon Johnson.

September 17, 2019 3:28 PM EST

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