The Detroit Lions double-dipped at the running back position in the 2020 NFL Draft, adding Georgia's D'Andre Swift in the second round and then New Mexico State's Jason Huntley in the fifth. Nearly a month later, incumbent Lions starter Kerryon Johnson has seemingly taken offense to a fan's suggestion that Swift, drafted 35th overall, might take Johnson's job.
The Twitter account @LionsFanReport generated more than 1,000 likes on a post of side-by-side pictures Friday, with one shot showing Swift on the same field as Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford in an apparent offseason workout, and the other showing a recent Instagram photo of Johnson and his girlfriend at the beach. "Someone's coming for that starting RB job," the tweet's caption read, implying that Swift is preparing for the 2020 season while Johnson enjoys vacation.
A day later, Johnson himself apparently caught wind of the message, retweeting it with some words of his own: "I assure you it's scientifically possible to workout (sic) and not post about it ... I'm with the ignorance, though, if you wanna get started." The third-year back followed up with another tweet the same day, indicating Lions fans are wrong to pit him and Swift against each other in the first place: "Like I'm (going to) want him to fail so I can succeed? ... That's not how it works ... They just don't understand."
Johnson makes a fair point about the optics of preparation; a couple of context-less pictures on social media should rarely ever be the basis of a narrative. As he noted, it's entirely possible Johnson has logged just as many, if not more, workout reps than Swift, even if his Instagram account doesn't let the world in on the secret.
That said, the idea that Johnson's job could be in jeopardy isn't without merit. The former second-round pick has started his first two NFL seasons strongly, particularly his rookie campaign, in which he averaged more than five yards per carry and was on pace to eclipse 1,000 yards on the ground. But he's also seen both seasons end prematurely due to serious knee injuries, finishing both 2018 and 2019 on injured reserve. Swift, on the other hand, came into the draft as one of the consensus top players at his position and at the very least figures to factor into a RB rotation as a rookie.