The Detroit Lions entered Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears dinged up, and things haven’t exactly gotten better as the game has progressed.
Early in the game Sunday, the Lions lost running back Ty Johnson, who jogged off the field. It was later revealed that Johnson was being evaluated for a concussion. After that, Detroit’s offensive lineman Rick Wagner took a big shot and had to be carted off the field. He was revealed to also be in evaluation for a potential concussion.
Losing the two is bad news for the Lions, who were already thin at running back and along the offensive front. Johnson has been the primary ball carrier, and will be spelled by J.D. McKissic and Paul Perkins. Tyrell Crosby came in to replace Wagner.
Ty Johnson Thrust Into Role
After the injury to Kerryon Johnson, the rookie was thrust into the role at running back. Clearly Johnson has confidence in himself and his play. Though he’s merely a rookie and a late round draft pick out of Maryland at that, Johnson is brimming with confidence as he prepares to take on a much bigger role with the Lions, who are now down their top running back.
“Whenever they call my number I’ll be ready to go,” Johnson said honestly when asked by the media about his feelings. “Whatever coach Bevell wants, I’m sure the running back group and I, we’re going to pound away, we’re going to get in the film room, we’re going to be on the practice field doing extra, we’re going to do everything in our room extra to make sure we have success on the field.”
Now that he is more than a few months into the job, Johnson sees things slowing down more than a bit and is starting to feel better about the game and his position on the field.
“Pretty comfortable. It’s just that the game is starting to slow down a little bit,” Johnson said. “Being able to slow things down mentally, what the defenses are doing, and having coaches, guys like Kerryon and J.D. (McKissic) in my ear talking about certain fronts and certain pressures. Having those guys in my ear at all times have definitely been a big help.”
The other Johnson, in fact, already had some words for the new group after he went down.
“He just texted us all in a group saying he was proud of us going in there and handling the way we did. He’s happy and proud to be in the running back room we have now. Just a very positive text,” Johnson said of Kerryon’s response.
While he’s excited to take over the role for the time being, Johnson explains that’s not unique, as anyone in his position would feel the same way.
“I feel like that’s any guy. There’s always going to be that level. At the end of the day, it’s about if my number is called, if they want to utilize me or any of the running backs, when that comes, it will come,” he said.
Lions Would Miss Rick Wagner
Without Wagner, the Lions would have to roll with Crosby for the long haul given his work at tackle in the past. That would be tough for the team considering Wagner has been a guy who is at the very least solid up front. He’s had injuries before, and if there is one concern, that is it as it relates to this ailment.
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