This will mark the veteran running back’s fifth team in the past 12 months. But Anderson has left his mark with multiple franchises during a six-year career and will have a chance to contribute in Detroit.
Prior to Anderson catching on with the Rams in what turned out to be a pivotal agreement, he worked out for the Lions last November. The 27-year-old back will now have a chance to play alongside Kerryon Johnson. LeGarrette Blount‘s contract expired after last season. The Lions now have a new power-based back in place to fill that role, one coming off a borderline-dominant stretch.
In his first game subbing in for Todd Gurley, Anderson gained 167 rushing yards and scored a touchdown. He followed up his Week 16 performance with another 100-yard game, averaging 7.0 yards per carry as a regular-season Ram. The former Broncos Pro Bowler then teamed with Gurley to bulldoze the Cowboys, with the Rams newcomer gaining 123 yards and scoring twice in Los Angeles’ divisional-round win.
This helped re-establish the running back after both the Panthers and Raiders released him during the season. Prior to his successful Rams stint, Anderson was seldom used as a Panther, receiving just 24 carries last season. He totaled 43 in his two regular-season Rams games.
The Lions were clearly interested in bringing a piece of the Rams’ running game to the Motor City. They submitted an offer sheet to Malcolm Brown, but the Rams matched it. Detroit re-signed Zach Zenner and has Kerwynn Williams on its roster, but Anderson almost certainly stands to have a key role.
As a Bronco, Anderson made the 2014 Pro Bowl after breaking out down the stretch that season. In 2015, he was a vital part of a Super Bowl champion outfit, helping a Denver team that had seen Peyton Manning decline suddenly. Anderson finished the season with 100 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in Super Bowl 50. In 2017, he rushed for a career-high 1,007 yards. The Broncos released Anderson in April 2018 pivoted to younger backs.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.