Kerryon Johnson

Lions Activate Kerryon Johnson Off IR

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 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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Lions’ Kerryon Johnson Designated To Return

Lions running back Kerryon Johnson has been designated to return from injured reserve, head coach Matt Patricia announced on Wednesday. Johnson will be eligible to play in Week 16 against the Broncos, though it’s not guaranteed that he’ll be activated. 

The Lions are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs at 3-8-1, so the decision to play Johnson won’t be an easy one to make. The running back would surely like to see his first action since the sixth game of the season, but the Lions won’t want to risk further injury to one of their top skill players.

If nothing else, the move allows Johnson to practice with the club, starting today. Johnson, 22, was averaging just 3.3 yards per carry prior to the injury, but impressed in a limited sample as a rookie. In 2018, Johnson finished with 641 rushing yards on 118 attempts, good for a 5.4 yards per carry average. And, in Week 3 of that season, he snapped the Lions’ streak of 70 games without a 100-yard rusher.

The Lions, without Johnson in the lineup, will finish the year against the Vikings, Bucs, Broncos, and Packers. If the season ended today, they’d own the No. 6 overall pick.

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Lions Place Kerryon Johnson On IR

Kerryon Johnson won’t see the field for a while. The running back has been placed on injured reserve, according to head coach Matt Patricia.

Johnson was forced out of the first quarter of Sunday’s game with a right knee injury and further testing revealed that he’ll need surgery to help jumpstart his recovery. Per league rules, Johnson can return after eight missed weeks. Patricia says that’s the plan, though that’ll hinge on the pace of Johnson’s recovery. That’ll also hinge on the Lions’ place in the playoff chase, though Patricia did not vocalize that part.


Johnson’s early career has been defined by potential and bad injury luck. Last year, he missed six games with a left knee injury, though he showed some promising flashes.

In six games this year, Johnson ran for 308 yards and two touchdowns. Through the air, he added another score and 126 receiving yards off of nine catches.

With the 2018 second-round pick out of action, the Lions will likely turn to Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic. There’s also No. 3 RB Tra Carson on the active roster and Paul Perkins may be considered for a promotion.

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Kerryon Johnson To Miss “Some Time”

Lions running back Kerryon Johnson was injured during the first quarter of yesterday’s game, and it sounds like he’s about to miss a more than three quarters of play. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that Johnson is set to miss “some time,” with the running back currently designated as week-to-week.

Johnson missed the final six games of his rookie campaign with a knee injury. Even if this current ailment isn’t particularly serious, it would make sense for the Lions to be relatively cautious with the 2018 second-rounder.

The running back looked the part of a three-down back last season, and while his sophomore campaign has been a bit underwhelming, he’s still proven to be an important part of Detroit’s offense. Through six games, Johnson has 308 rushing yards and two scores on 92 carries. He’s added another touchdown and 126 receiving yards on nine receptions.

With Johnson out, the Lions will likely turn to Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic (they’re also rostering Paul Perkins on their practice squad, as well as recent-addition Tra Carson on their active roster). While it’s just my speculation, the Lions could turn to veteran running back C.J. Anderson, who played the first two games of the season with Detroit. The veteran worked out for the Raiders earlier today.

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Injury Updates: Brees, Ryan, Apple, Slay, Johnson

The latest injury updates from around the league:

  • Drew Brees has missed five games now, and it looks like the Saints quarterback is nearing a return. Brees said he will return to practice this week and that he hopes to play in Week 8 against the Cardinals, according to Mike Triplett of (Twitter link). That being said Brees told Triplett he’s still taking a “we’ll see” approach, so it’s far from guaranteed he suits up against Arizona. Still, he’s clearly going to be back soon. Teddy Bridgewater has gone 5-0 in his absence, so Brees’ thumb injury might end up turning out to be a blessing in disguise if it leaves him more fresh down the stretch. New Orleans picked up a big win on the road against Chicago Sunday, and their defense is playing lights out.
  • Speaking of NFC South quarterbacks, Matt Ryan left the Falcons’ loss to the Rams early with an ankle injury. Ryan was in a lot of pain and in a boot after the game, but a source said “the team does not believe the injury is serious,” per Adam Schefter of (Twitter link). Atlanta’s season is circling the drain as they sit at 1-6 and Dan Quinn could be fired any week, so it’s quite possible they’re cautious with Ryan. It wouldn’t be a surprise at all if Matt Schaub is under center next week against Seattle.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple left the Saints’ win over the Bears with a non-contact knee injury, which understandably sparked a lot of concern. The “initial belief” is that Apple hyperextended his knee, according to Nick Underhill of The Athletic (Twitter link). It’s unclear how serious the injury is and he could certainly still miss some time, but fortunately it doesn’t sound like an ACL tear. Apple has started every game for New Orleans this season, and is a key part of their defense. This one will be important to monitor.
  • Star cornerback Darius Slay and running back Kerryon Johnson both left and were ruled out of the Lions’ loss to the Vikings. There hasn’t been much of an update on either, but Slay’s was a hamstring and Johnson’s was a knee. Slay missed one game with a hamstring injury earlier this year, so it sounds like he aggravated that. Johnson missed six games with a knee injury last season, so this is obviously troubling. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear more.

Lions Place RB Kerryon Johnson On IR

Kerryon Johnson‘s season is over. The Lions will place the standout running back on injured reserve with a knee injury, according to Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). 

The Lions are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, so there’s little sense in pushing Johnson on to the field when he’s less than 100% anyway. The severity of Johnson’s injury is not yet known, but he is expected to make a full recovery in the offseason.

The rookie turned in a quality season, even as the Lions slumped. He finishes with 641 rushing yards on 118 attempts, which is good for a 5.4 yards per carry average. And, in Week 3, he snapped the Lions’ streak of 70 games without a 100-yard rusher.

The Lions will wrap their season against the Vikings and Packers. With Johnson out, they’ll continue to use LeGarrette Glount, Theo Riddick, and Zach Zenner in the backfield.

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Lions’ Kerryon Johnson To Miss Time

The Lions will be without running back Kerryon Johnson for one or two games with a knee sprain, according to Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). All things considered, it’s not a terrible outcome since there was fear of a more serious injury at first. 

Johnson will be sidelined for this year’s Thanksgiving Day matchup against the Bears, but he’ll have a puncher’s chance at suiting up for the club’s Dec. 2 game against the Rams. At worst, it sounds like Johnson will be on the field for Dec. 9 against the Cardinals. Without Johnson, the Lions are expected to lean on a committee of LeGarrette BlountTheo Riddick, and Zach Zenner.

Johnson has managed 5.4 yards per carry on 118 attempts so far during his rookie season and also ranks seventh in Football Outsiders’ success rate, meaning he’s effective at keeping the Lions’ offense on schedule. The second-round pick out of Auburn has averaged 5.4 yards per tote and has also reeled in 32 grabs for 213 yards. In total, he has four all-purpose touchdowns and has clearly emerged as the best running back in the Lions’ group.

The Lions edged the Panthers 20-19 on Sunday, keeping their slim playoff hopes alive. At 4-6, they’ll need wins in the next two games – with or without Johnson – in order to keep things afloat.

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North Notes: Ravens, Flacco, Lions, Bengals

Lamar Jackson will likely start at least one more game for the Ravens, as Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh told reporters that Joe Flacco will be hard-pressed to return from injury in Week 12, per Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic (Twitter link). Flacco has been dealing with a hip issue since Week 9, and while he’s not expected to require surgery, the veteran signal-caller did see a specialist in New York last week. Further complicating matters is Jackson’s performance in Sunday’s win over the Bengals, which vaulted Baltimore back into wild card contention. Jackson, the 32nd overall selection in this year’s draft, attempted only 19 passes against Cincinnati, but rushed 27 times for 117 yards in a 24-21 victory. Harbaugh and the rest of the Ravens’ decision-makers could opt to roll with Jackson as the club finishes out the season against the Raiders, Falcons, Chiefs, Buccaneers, Chargers, and Browns.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • Although he’ll undergo an MRI before getting any official diagnosis, Lions running back Kerryon Johnson isn’t believed to have torn his ACL on Sunday, tweets Ian Rapoport of Instead, Johnson is believed to have suffered a knee sprain. While a sprain wouldn’t knock Johnson out for the remainder of the season, it could put his availability for Week 12 in serious doubt. That’s especially true given that Detroit is facing a short turnaround, as they’ll face the Bears in a Thanksgiving Day matchup. Johnson has managed 5.4 yards per carry on 118 attempts so far during his rookie season, and also ranks seventh in Football Outsiders’ success rate, meaning he’s effective at keeping the Lions’ offense on schedule. If Johnson is out on Thursday, Detroit would use a committee of LeGarrette Blount, Theo Riddick, and Zach Zenner.
  • The Bengals are paying former Browns head coach Hue Jackson $250K while he serves as a special assistant to head coach Marvin Lewis for the rest of the season, per Rapoport (Twitter link). However, Jackson had offset language in his contract with Cleveland, so Cincinnati will essentially get his services at no cost, while the Browns will see their bill lessened. Jackson is expected to focus on the defensive side of the ball in Cincinnati, and reports on Sunday indicated he could even take over defensive play-calling later this year.
  • In case you missed it, the Bengals are expected to see the return of receiver A.J. Green in Week 12. Green suffered a toe injury against the Buccaneers in Week 8 and hasn’t played since.

Injury Updates: Patriots, Colts, Lions, Redskins

The final injury reports for Week 7 came out earlier today, and there was a lot of news. Lots of key players will be missing their team’s games, while others will be returning after extended absence. One notable rule-out was the Patriots declaring that starting right tackle Marcus Cannon would miss their game against the Bears. It’s a big loss for New England, especially in a week where they have to go up against Khalil Mack. Mack will now be lining up across from a backup tackle, and could end up making life miserable for Tom Brady.

Here are more injury updates from around the league:

  • The Colts have been the most injured team in recent memory the past few weeks, but are finally getting some good news. Star receiver T.Y. Hilton has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, but is ready to make his return this week. Unfortunately for Indianapolis, they’ll still be without tight end Jack Doyle and receiver Ryan Grant as well as several key contributors on defense like safety Clayton Geathers and defensive tackle Denico Autry.
  • The Lions will be without running back Theo Riddick, who went down during the team’s win over the Packers. Riddick has been operating as the Lions’ third down back, and rookie Kerryon Johnson should get more run with him out of the way. On the bright side, the team looks like it could be getting back pass-rusher Ezekiel Ansah, who hasn’t played since Detroit’s Week 1 loss. Ansah is listed as questionable but practiced all three days this week.
  • The Redskins will be thin on pass-catchers, as Jamison Crowder has been ruled out for the team’s game against the Cowboys while Paul Richardson is listed as doubtful. Washington promoted Jehu Chesson from the practice squad yesterday, signaling they weren’t expecting Richardson to play. Tight end Jordan Reed should see a ton of looks as the Redskins’ receiving corp is completely depleted.

For a rundown of every team’s injury situation, you can view all 32 injury reports over at

NFC Notes: Donald, Giants, Cash, Lions

The Aaron Donald saga may finally be nearing a conclusion. Rams GM Les Snead indicated earlier this week that team and player were progressing towards a new deal, and head coach Sean McVay echoed those sentiments last night. Per Vincent Bonsignore of The Athletic (Twitter link), McVay said, “there’s increased dialogue. There’s more…we feel positive about the direction that these things are going. I think there’s a level of urgency that’s being displayed from us.” That probably sounds like music to the ears of Rams fans, who have legitimate championship dreams this season.

Now let’s take a quick look at a few more notes from the NFC:

  • Ryan Dunleavy of tweets that Giants quarterback Kyle Lauletta is getting reps with the second team today, which is the first time Dunleavy can recall that happening. 2017 third-rounder Davis Webb was said to have a big lead on Lauletta for Big Blue’s backup job coming out of minicamp, but this could be a sign that Lauletta, a 2018 fourth-round pick, is closing the gap. Webb, of course, was selected by New York’s prior regime, while Lauletta has the benefit of being chosen by the team’s new crop of decision-makers.
  • Ian Rapoport of reports (via Twitter) that Cardinals LB Jeremy Cash sustained a knee injury during last night’s preseason game that is believed to be season-ending. That is a tough blow for the Duke product, who has bounced around a few different teams since entering the league but who had a real chance of cracking Arizona’s 53-man roster this season. The Cardinals claimed him off waivers in March.
  • Good news for 49ers fans, as right guard Joshua Garnett has returned to practice after missing two weeks to deal with his right knee issue, per Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group (via Twitter). Matt Barrows of The Athletic tweets that Garnett’s primary competitor for San Francisco’s right guard job, Jonathan Cooper, is also on hand, so perhaps the competition can finally begin in earnest. This comes just a week after a report that the 49ers were growing increasingly concerned about Garnett’s knee problems.
  • Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press offers his take on the prospects of a few different Lions after the team’s first preseason game several nights ago. He says it is only a matter of time before rookie Kerryon Johnson becomes Detroit’s starting tailback, though Ameer Abdullah also looked good and was the first man up on kick and punt returns. Birkett adds that Jake Rudock‘s rough night, combined with Matt Cassel‘s ties to head coach Matt Patricia, have increased Cassel’s chances of opening the season as the club’s backup QB.
  • The Bears signed running back/return specialist Knile Davis earlier today.