Kerryon Johnson Injury: Timetable for Lions Running Back Revealed

Kerryon Johnson

Getty Kerryon Johnson dives for a pass against the Packers.

Kerryon Johnson exited the Detroit Lions loss to the Minnesota Vikings with injury, and the team could be set to be without their young star running back for a little bit.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Johnson is going to miss “some time” with the knee injury that was sustained against the Vikings. What that means is anyone’s guess, but the expectation according to Schefter is that Johnson is week to week.

The Lions have had injuries like that before. They’re still waiting for Da’Shawn Hand to be good enough to return. Mike Daniels was classified as day to day a few weeks back Obviously, the expectation is Johnson can return at some point, though this report would certainly classify as worse news than Matt Patricia made it sound when he met with the media on Monday.

The bottom line is nobody knows how long Johnson could be shelved.

The Injury

Johnson went down with a knee injury against the Vikings and was spotted wearing a knee brace on the sidelines. He was called questionable, and didn’t return to the game.

In the early part of his career, Johnson has suffered from knee trouble, missing the end of the 2018 season thanks to the troublesome knee. He returned in 2019 and had been playing well for the team and avoiding trouble with injury so far. While he hadn’t scored many touchdowns so far this season, he was playing a big role for the team giving them a major boost in the backfield and helping out the offense.

If Johnson is gone for any length of time, it’s not as if the Lions have tons of depth behind him. Rookie Ty Johnson and pass catcher J.D. McKissic are the two best options on the team, meaning the Lions might have to consider something for the future. They can ill-afford not having a solid rusher for their offense.

The complicated nature of a knee injury for a player who’s had a history of such problems is something to remember, and will no doubt be something that the Lions think about.

What’s Next

The Lions will have to be open to a move to add some type of running back. The risk is high with keeping Johnson and McKissic as neither are pure runners and are better at catching the ball. Johnson could help chip in, but the team will likely need some depth they can rely on given he is a rookie.

On the trading block are several players, not the least of which is Kenyan Drake. The Lions reportedly were already interested in Drake before Johnson’s injury, but now, might actually have to make a move.

Drake has been a very productive runner in the NFL with the Dolphins, rushing for 1,358 yards and 9 touchdowns. He’s also gotten loose for 6 scores through the air as a receiver, and has 762 reception yards as a true dual threat player. Drake brings it in a variety of ways for his team and adds the element of speed and elusiveness out of the backfield.

It’s likely the Lions will consider a move given the relative inexperience of the players left on their roster, and that’s especially true if Johnson can’t shake off his injury fast.

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