Rams playoff hero running back signs with Lions after feeling disrespected in free agency
The Lions have a new running back
After going unsigned through the first three weeks of free agency, former Rams running back C.J. Anderson has finally found a team that's willing to give him a chance to play.
The move ends a stressful three weeks for Anderson, who went unsigned in free agency despite the fact that he basically carried the Rams into the postseason after being signed by Los Angeles in December.
After being cut by both the Panthers and the Raiders over a four week period late in the season, Anderson eventually latched on with the Rams and became a vital part of their high-powered offense. In his first game with L.A., Anderson rushed for 167 yards during a 31-9 Week 16 win over the Cardinals. The bruising running back followed up that performance by rushing for 132 yards in the Rams' regular season finale.
Anderson didn't slow down in the playoffs, either. During the Rams' 30-22 divisional round win over the Cowboys, Anderson rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns. After ending the season with multiple strong performances, Anderson clearly thought he was going to be a hot commodity during free agency, but the offers never came. Ten days into free agency, Anderson tweeted that he was being "disrespected," while also blaming his lack of playing time in his career on office politics.
In Detroit, Anderson won't be the starter, but he should be a good backup for Kerryon Johnson. Lions coach Matt Patricia has said that he doesn't want to overwork Johnson, which means Anderson could be seeing a lot of action in 2019.
"[Running backs are] in those situations a lot where their bodies are taking a pounding," Patricia said at the NFL annual meeting in March, via the team's official website. "You want to be conscious of how many plays they're getting, especially early on in the year. Obviously, we just want to win. That's the most important thing, but you do have to look at big picture. Great, we could run a couple plays now, but if we wear this guy out, it's not going to help us in the long run."
The decision to add Anderson comes less than two weeks after the Lions tried to land another Rams running back. The Lions signed Malcolm Brown to , but the Rams eventually matched the offer sheet, which kept Brown in L.A.
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