The Lions are set to have an opportunity to see their top running back in action two more times this season. They are activating Kerryon Johnson from IR in advance of their Week 16 game in Denver, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.
Johnson has been out since Week 7 with a knee injury. He returned to practice nearly three weeks ago and will be back on Detroit’s 53-man roster. With Johnson having spent much of his career on IR, these two lower-stakes (for the Lions) games will take on greater importance for the second-year running back.
This move appears to come with some risk, especially in a lost season. The 2018 second-round pick missed six games as a rookie with a knee injury. Johnson, who’s played in six games this season, remains the Lions’ top backfield investment and figures to go into 2020 as the team’s starter. But given the Auburn alum’s injury issues, these two games could help determine whether the team opts to add backfield competition next year.
This season has obviously not gone well for Johnson, whose yards-per-carry average dropped to 3.3 from the 5.4-yard mark he posted as a rookie. He’s totaled 434 yards from scrimmage in 2019. The Lions have seen considerable backfield turnover this season and have recently used second-year back Bo Scarbrough as their starter.
To make room on their 53-man roster, the Lions placed linebacker Christian Jones on IR. They also promoted defensive end Jonathan Wynn from their practice squad. Jones joins fellow starting linebacker Jarrad Davis on IR.
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