The Detroit Lions are set to roll into the 2020 season with Kerryon Johnson and D'Andre Swift at running back, even though their rookie second-round pick isn't certain how he'll fit into Detroit's backfield just yet.
With the coronavirus pandemic canceling minicamps, Swift's role in the Lions' offense is as good as anyone's guess until training camp begins. All he knows is the Lions plan to use him in the backfield.
Hence why they drafted him so high in the first place.
"I can't even give you my role. Whatever role they have for me, I just gotta make sure I'm in the best shape and know all of the plays so I'm ready to take it on full force," Swift said, via Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free-Press. "But I'm not going in there looking to do anything, just doing what I've been doing."
Swift will be competing with Johnson for the No. 1 running back role, though Johnson has proven he can handle top ball carrying duties in the Lions offense. Johnson rushed for 641 yards and three touchdowns for 5.4 yards per carry his rookie season (third in the NFL), but injuries limited him to 403 yards and three touchdowns for 3,6 yards per carry in eight games last season.
A Grade 1 knee strain and a torn meniscus has limited Johnson to just 18 games in two seasons -- another reason why Detroit used such a high draft pick on Swift.
Swift rushed for 1,218 yards and seven touchdowns for the Georgia Bulldogs last season (6.2 yards per carry) on 196 carries. He split carries with Nick Chubb and Sony Michel his freshman year (2017) and with Elijah Holyfield in his sophomore campaign, so splitting the reps with Johnson won't be unfamiliar territory.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford wants Swift to hit the ground running, meeting up with him for an in-person workout earlier this summer. Like Swift, Stafford also played college ball at Georgia.
"He's welcoming me in," Swift said. "Just any questions I have about the offense, or even off the football field."