Zach Zenner

Miami Dolphins
Running Back #34
Miami Dolphins
Running Back #34

Zach Zenner News

Parts ways with Miami

Zenner was waived by the Dolphins on Tuesday, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports.

Analysis: Zenner was claimed off waivers by the Dolphins last week and exclusively played special teams during his lone game with the team. The 28-year-old has now seen game action with the Cardinals, Saints and Dolphins this season, and he's once again looking for a new team.

Dec 10, 2019 2:53 PM EST

Claimed on waivers

Zenner has been claimed on waivers by the Dolphins, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Analysis: Zenner will give the Dolphins some added running back depth, with Kalen Ballage (leg) headed to IR. It remains to be seen how much of a role he'll have for his new team out of the gate, but initially Zenner figures to work behind Patrick Laird and Myles Gaskin.

Dec 3, 2019 2:08 PM EST

Let go by Arizona

The Cardinals waived Zenner on Monday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: Zenner became expendable to Arizona with Kenyan Drake, David Johnson and Chase Edmonds all back to full health. The 28-year-old running back will now be subjected to waivers and look for a depth role elsewhere in the league.

Dec 2, 2019 8:25 AM EST

Healthy scratch Sunday

Zenner (coach's decision) won't play in Sunday's showdown with the 49ers, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports.

Analysis: Zenner played just 13 special teams snaps in last weeks win over Tampa Bay, and as evidenced by this news, has become expendable on the roster. The Cardinals will roll with only Kenyan Drake and David Johnson as their running backs for the game.

Nov 17, 2019 11:41 AM EST

Scooped up by New Orleans

The Saints signed Zenner on Wednesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: For the second week in a row, Alvin Kamara is dealing with an ankle injury, so the Saints opted to bolster the backfield by bringing in Zenner. In 36 appearances across four seasons with the Lions, Zenner averaged 3.9 yards per carry and hauled in 27 of 37 targets.

Oct 16, 2019 12:12 PM EST

Trying out for Giants

Zenner was one of three running backs to try out for the Giants on Tuesday, freelance NFL writer Howard Balzer reports.

Analysis: Joining Zenner on Tuesday was Benny Cunningham and Fozzy Whittaker. If any of these guys ultimately receive a contract offer, they could be worth keeping an eye on given Saquon Barkley's (hamstring) expected 4-to-8 week absence. New York currently has Wayne Gallman and fullback Elijhaa Penny as the only other options in the backfield.

Sep 24, 2019 3:15 PM EST

Let go by Lions

The Lions will release Zenner, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports.

Analysis: The running back should catch on elsewhere soon, with Houston coming to mind as a possibility. With Zenner no longer in the mix, the Lions' backfield is now headed by Kerryon Johnson and C.J. Anderson, with Ty Johnson and Mark Thompson next in line for reps.

Aug 27, 2019 1:46 PM EST

Falling behind in job battle

Zenner carried four times for 21 yards during Friday's preseason game against the Bills.

Analysis: If this game was any indication, Zenner has fallen behind Ty Johnson for the No. 3 role at running back. He still has a solid chance of making the roster, though, as Zenner is a standout on special teams and has proven to be a serviceable option when injuries have forced him into playing time on offense in the past.

Aug 24, 2019 10:16 AM EST

Scores touchdown in preseason game

Zenner rushed three times for 17 yards and caught one pass for five yards and a touchdown during Saturday's preseason game against the Texans.

Analysis: Zenner looked healthy after having to leave last week's preseason opener with an undisclosed injury. Meanwhile, Ty Johnson didn't do anything overly impressive. As long as Zenner continues to perform well on special teams, he should have a solid chance of holding down a roster spot in 2019.

Aug 17, 2019 8:43 PM EST

Suffers injury Thursday

Zenner suffered an undisclosed injury during Thursday's preseason loss to the Patriots and did not return, Kyle Meinke of reports.

Analysis: Zenner ended up only rushing three times for 13 yards after he ended up being the fourth tailback to enter the game. It's unclear at this point what sort of injury he is dealing with, but the Lions should have an update the next time they take the practice field.

Aug 9, 2019 9:46 AM EST

Losing grip on No. 3 role

Zenner rushed three times for 13 yards during Thursday's 31-3 preseason loss to the Patriots.

Analysis: Zenner curiously entered the game after Ty Johnson and proceeded to be outplayed by the rookie as the night went on. While there could be room for both of them on the final roster when it's all said and done, Johnson has drawn positive reviews most of the offseason and seems to be making a solid case for being third in line for RB touches behind Kerryon Johnson and C.J. Anderson.

Aug 8, 2019 7:47 PM EST

Bulking up

Zenner reported to training camp in the "in the 220 to 225-pound range," Mike O'Hara of the Lions' official site reports. "I think this is the biggest I've been," Zenner said. "Not by a lot. It sort of just happened with the training."

Analysis: Zenner drew plenty of attention last offseason for his visually-noticeable physical transformation that saw the running back reportedly dip to eight percent body fat. Zenner said he's only continued on with the same training program since then. While it's encouraging to hear that he has continued to make noticeable progress, of larger importance to Zenner's future is the Lions' recent decision to part ways with Theo Riddick, who's proficiency on passing downs would have made it particularly difficult for the former to see the field in 2019. Now, Zenner only has to compete with C.J. Anderson and Ty Johnson for snaps behind Kerryon Johnson.

Jul 30, 2019 3:53 PM EST

Gets competition from CJA

Zenner and recent signing C.J. Anderson figure to compete for carries behind Kerryon Johnson,'s Michael Rothstein reports.

Analysis: The Lions also have Theo Riddick in a crowded backfield, though the pass-catching specialist might be traded or released before Week 1 to free up $3.7 million in cap space. Johnson is the only one of the bunch signed beyond 2019, and he already proved his merit as a lead back with 5.4 yards per carry and 32 catches in 10 games during his rookie season. Zenner's wealth of experience on special teams could allow him to stick on the 53-man roster even if he lands fourth on the depth chart at running back.

Apr 2, 2019 11:22 AM EST

Re-signs with Lions

Zenner is re-signing with the Lions, Kyle Meinke of reports.

Analysis: Zenner's strong finish in 2018 could put him second in line for carries behind Kerryon Johnson, though it's still too early in the offseason to project the 27-year-old's role with much certainty. Zenner took 51 carries for 237 yards (4.6 average) and three touchdowns over the final four weeks of the 2018 campaign, plus he maintained a key role on special teams even after his involvement on offense skyrocketed.

Mar 12, 2019 11:56 AM EST

Finishes season strong

Zenner's strong finish to the 2018 season likely strengthened his position with the Lions, Mike O'Hara of the team's official site reports.

Analysis: This is an understatement considering Zenner turned out to be everything head coach Matt Patricia could really ask for in a backup running back -- an effective runner (4.8 YPC on 55 attempts) whose ability on special teams can allow for more roster flexibility on gamedays. The question now is where Zenner will sign this offseason once he becomes an unrestricted free agent in March. Given the promise he showed down the stretch, it's possible Zenner will have a number of suitors for his services.

Jan 11, 2019 8:36 AM EST

Blows past 100 yards, scores in win

Zenner rushed for 93 yards and one touchdown on 21 carries, adding a 30-yard reception during Sunday's 31-0 win against the Packers.

Analysis: Detroit hasn't exactly handed the keys over to Zenner since Kerryon Johnson (knee) fell victim to injury Week 11 against the Panthers. In six games since, LeGarrette Blount has been entrusted with 76 carries to Zenner's 54. Zenner has been significantly more productive with those opportunities, however, averaging an impressive 4.7 yards per carry during that span compared to Blount's average of 3.1 yards per rush. The fourth-year back has given Detroit's front office something to ponder with his contract expiring over the offseason. Having compiled 192 rushing yards and three touchdowns in his three appearances with 10-plus carries this season, Zenner has proven himself to be a capable backup option behind the 21-year-old Johnson.

Dec 30, 2018 1:50 PM EST

Leading rusher in convincing loss

Zenner rushed eight times for 45 yards and added two catches for 22 yards on three targets in Sunday's 27-9 loss to Minnesota.

Analysis: Zenner was easily Detroit's best option on the ground, as LeGarrette Blount (calf) was held to 29 yards on 11 carries. It's a bit puzzling why a beat-up Blount got more work than Zenner, but odd coaching decisions are nothing new to Lions fans. Zenner should push for double-digit touches against the Packers in Week 17.

Dec 23, 2018 3:49 PM EST

Primed for more work if Blount sits

With Kerryon Johnson (knee) on injured reserve and LeGarrette Blount (calf) listed as questionable, Zenner and Theo Riddick are the Lions' only healthy running backs heading into Sunday's game against Minnesota, Kyle Meinke of reports.

Analysis: Zenner already appeared to usurp Blount for the lead role during last week's 14-13 loss at Buffalo, getting the start and posting a 10-45-1 rushing line while the 32-year-old produced just nine yards on seven carries. Of course, Riddick contributed 47 yards on eight carries and nine yards on two receptions, so we can still expect a timeshare even if Blount doesn't play Sunday. The prospect of sharing with one player instead of two obviously boosts Zenner's fantasy outlook, but there's no guarantee it comes to fruition and also no guarantee the injury-riddled Lions have any success against a tough Minnesota defense.

Dec 21, 2018 2:32 PM EST

Won't face competition from Johnson

Zenner's teammate Kerryon Johnson (knee) has been placed on injured reserve, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports.

Analysis: With the rookie second-round pick officially ruled out, Zenner figures to maintain his role at the front of a committee over the final two weeks of the regular season. He leads the Lions with 22 carries over the past two games, most recently getting the starting nod over LeGarrette Blount in Sunday's 14-13 loss to the Bills. A Week 16 matchup with the Vikings doesn't look too appealing, though Zenner could push for an even larger share of the workload after Blount fell flat on his face (19 carries for 42 yards) the past two games. Either way, Theo Riddick will continue to handle passing downs in a struggling, injury-plagued offense.

Dec 19, 2018 10:24 AM EST

Scores short TD in loss

Zenner rushed 10 times for 45 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 14-13 loss to Buffalo, adding three catches for no gain on four targets.

Analysis: Zenner had a short touchdown overturned by replay in the second quarter, only to find the end zone from one yard out on the very next play. Receiving back Theo Riddick surprisingly led the team in rushing with 47 yard on eight carries while LeGarrette Blount managed just nine yards on seven carries. The trio appears primed to split work in a similar fashion against the Vikings in Week 16, barring the return of Kerryon Johnson (knee).

Dec 16, 2018 1:47 PM EST

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