The Detroit Lions have lost a ton of players this season to injury, but they did see the healthy return of running back Kerryon Johnson.
Johnson missed out on a good chunk of the 2019 season as it relates to making a statistical impact, but when it comes to his return, Johnson has also wasted no time getting back on the stat sheet. Against the Green Bay Packers, Johnson capped off a Detroit drive with a tough touchdown run.
Here’s a look at the play:
Detroit would use the score to bolster their lead to 14-0. They would go into halftime with a 17-3 lead after trading late field goals with the Packers.
Kerryon Johnson’s Lions Return
Recently removed from injured reserve and practicing, Johnson was said to look like he could be on target to make a return by Week 16, and according to Matt Patricia, Johnson has been practicing well. That’s led to folks think Johnson might be able to come back before the end of the 2019 season. Indeed, Johnson did return by Week 16.
Speaking a few Friday afternoons ago, Johnson also detailed what it was like to experience another knee injury. Obviously, it wasn’t a great experience for the young back, who was looking to make a major mark in 2019 and looking primed to do so before injury struck.
The likelihood is that the Lions ease Johnson back into the mix when he returns and that he doesn’t see much game time at all, but the fact he has been able to rally in time to come back to practice late in the season is good news for the Lions. Detroit’s ground game needs a bit of a boost, and at the very least, the Lions will want to see that Johnson is good to go for 2020 by easing him back into the mix and getting him some meaningful game reps.
Now, a few weeks later, Johnson is back into the end zone.
Kerryon Johnson Injury
Johnson went down with a knee injury against the Minnesota Vikings in October and was spotted wearing a knee brace on the sidelines the day of the game. He was called questionable, and didn’t return to the game.
The Monday after, nobody seemed quite sure how much time Johnson would miss, but the injury was called week to week. After the surgery decision, however, it meant that Johnson was definitively lost for some time.
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.
When Johnson has been gone, it’s not as if the Lions have had tons of depth behind him. Rookie Ty Johnson and pass catcher J.D. McKissic were the two best options on the team in the moment, and the Lions blew through other options like Paul Perkins and Tra Carson. Otherwise, the squad struggled with the players they found to fill in. Eventually, they were able to find a potential hidden gem in Bo Scarbrough to tote the rock, and he did so effectively with 236 yards in just three games.
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 when they choose with how to proceed with Johnson.
He’s looked good running thus far, and has to feel good he’s back into the end zone.
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