Johnson is expected to be a featured player in 2019 under new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Will Burchfield of 97.1 FM The Ticket reports. "[Johnson] is a guy that's talented in the running game, but I'm also excited to see some of things I've heard about, his ability in the passing game -- which I think can really be a bonus for our offense," Bevell recently said. The 2018 second-rounder was slowly brought along as the lead runner in the Lions backfield his rookie year, to the point where Johnson was seeing roughly 18 touches per game before going down with a minor knee sprain in Week 11. That level of involvement could reasonably be viewed as the Auburn product's floor entering the 2019 season given Detroit's stated intent on moving to a more run-based, clock-controlling offensive system under Bevell. How effective that system will be greatly depends on the degree to which quarterback Matthew Stafford bounces back, but Johnson could be primed for a workhorse role regardless.
Johnson (knee) said he is almost 100 percent healthy and won't have any limitations during the offseason, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports. After missing the final six games of his rookie season with an MCL sprain, Johnson said he might've been ready to play this week if the Lions had reached the playoffs. While the team didn't come anywhere close to qualifying, Johnson played a big role in keeping Detroit respectable prior to his injury, averaging 5.4 yards on 118 carries and catching 32 of 39 targets (82.1 percent). He figures to enter his second pro season as the unquestioned lead back, though Theo Riddick could present an obstacle to pass-catching production and Zach Zenner or another player may poach a few carries. LeGarrette Blount presumably isn't in the plan for 2019 after producing just 2.7 YPC in 2018.
The Lions placed Johnson (knee) on injured reserve Wednesday, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports. With Johnson missing the Lions' last four games with a sprained left knee and having yet to resume practicing since suffering the injury, the team opted to shutter him for the season rather than leaving a slim possibility open for him to suit up in the final two contests of 2018. Despite missing more than a quarter of his rookie campaign, Johnson still ranks as the Lions' team rushing leader with 641 yards (5.4 per carry) to go with four touchdowns. Johnson should be fully healthy well in advance of OTAs and will open the 2019 season as Detroit's presumptive lead back.
Johnson (knee) has been ruled out for Sunday's game in Buffalo, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com reports. Once again, Theo Riddick, LeGarrette Blount and Zach Zenner will share some extra touches to go around in a hard-to-pinpoint situation. With the Lions' season essentially over and only two weeks left on the slate, Johnson is starting to run the risk of getting shut down until 2019.
Johnson (knee) isn't practicing Friday, Tim Twentyman of the Lions' official site reports. Not that there was much question in the first place, but this essentially ensures the rookie running back will miss a fourth straight game. LeGarrette Blount, Theo Riddick and Zach Zenner are likely to form a three-headed committee Sunday in Buffalo.
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