Lions' Kerryon Johnson: Bellcow role unlikely
Johnson will be the Lions' unquestioned lead running back this season, but he could lose touches to others in the backfield, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports. "Regardless of Kerryon, I think it's a position-specific thing where those guys, they take a lot of hits," coach Matt Patricia said Tuesday. "...But you do have to look at the big picture and say, 'OK, great, we could win a couple now, but if we wear this guy out and he doesn't help us in the long run, then what's the trade off?'"
Johnson was brought along slowly as a rookie but easily outplayed Week 1 starter LeGarrette Blount from the get-go, and his role ultimately grew to the point where he was seeing a combined 18.4 rushing attempts and targets over his final five appearances. Given new offensive coordinator Darren Bevell's emphasis on the run game, it's possible Johnson could maintain that kind of respectable workload even if he's splitting reps with another player or two in 2019, whether that be Zach Zenner, Theo Riddick or a member of this year's draft class. With that said, it doesn't sound like there are any plans for Johnson to receive the kind of snap count that could vault him into the elite tier of fantasy running backs, particularly if the Lions happen to invest in a backfield complement with an early-round selection this spring.
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