Johnson isn't guaranteed a roster spot in advance of the 2020 season, Chris Burke of the Athletic reports. On the surface, Johnson's 4.3 yards per carry from 2019 seems respectable for a sixth-round rookie. Take out his 40-yard scamper from Week 17, though, and that number drops to 3.8, which seems much more representative of a player who seemingly struggled as a runner on a weekly basis. In fact, it's hard to say Johnson fared well as a receiving option either considering he averaged just 4.5 yards on his 24 receptions. Add it all up and Johnson may be dependent on an impressive showing in offseason workouts, possibly as a return man on special teams, to stick around behind Kerryon Johnson and Bo Scarbrough in 2020.
Johnson carried the ball three times for 65 yards in the team's Week 17 loss to the Packers. Johnson worked behind both Kerryon Johnson and Bo Scarbrough but finished the contest as the Lions' leading rusher. The majority of his production came on a 40-yard run with 20 seconds remaining in the first half, setting up a field goal as time expired. Ty Johnson spent a few weeks as the team's primary running back in the absence of Kerryon Johnson, though he'll begin the 2020 season strictly as a backup with a healthier depth chart in front of him.
Johnson carried three times for 20 yards during Sunday's 27-17 loss to Denver. With Kerryon Johnson and Bo Scarbrough back from their respective injuries, Ty remained on the active roster while last week's feature back, Wes Hills, was a healthy scratch. Johnson might get another handful of carries in Sunday's season finale against Green Bay, but he'll most certainly remain a distant third option in this backfield.
Johnson rushed twice for three yards and caught four of five targets for 17 yards while fumbling once during Sunday's 38-17 loss to Tampa Bay. Despite pre-game reports listing Johnson as the expected starter, it was actually Wes Hills -- who had been promoted from the practice squad Saturday -- who opened the game with the first-string offense. While Johnson still finished the game having logged more offensive snaps, Hills had five times as many carries and both of the Lions' rushing scores on the day. That works out to Hills getting the ball on over half of his snaps while Johnson got the rock on less than a quarter of his. While it's still more or less clear that Detroit is wanting to get Johnson some experience during his rookie year, the fact that two runners have now gone from the practice squad straight to the lead role -- bypassing Johnson in the process -- suggests the Lions aren't yet ready to hand Johnson the kind of workload that could make him a desirable fantasy asset.
The Lions announced Johnson as their starting running back for Sunday's game against the Buccaneers, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com reports. Johnson will apparently be on the field for the Lions' first offensive snap of the day, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he'll be in store to fill the lead role out of the backfield as Detroit looks to replace the injured Bo Scarbrough (ribs). As Justin Rogers of The Detroit News noted earlier Sunday, practice squad callup Wes Hills was spotted taking first-team reps during pregame warmups, and J.D. McKissic also lingers as another option out of the backfield. Most likely, coach Matt Patricia will take a hot-hand approach to the position, making it difficult to forecast which of the three backs will deliver the most fantasy value.
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