Lions Considering Signing Former Elite Big Ten Runner: Report

Mike Weber

Getty Mike Weber runs for Ohio State vs. Michigan.

The Detroit Lions could be looking to make another addition to their roster prior to training camp and this one would come on the offensive side of the ball.

According to former Detroit News columnist and 97.1 The Ticket radio personality Terry Foster, the Lions have apparently been speaking with running back Mike Weber about a homecoming.

A former standout running the ball for the Ohio State Buckeyes, Weber was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2016 and second team All Big Ten the same season. He ran the ball for 2,772 yards and 24 touchdowns in his career with the Buckeyes and entered the 2019 NFL Draft early.

Weber then became a 7th round pick of the Dallas Cowboys, and was waived by the team but landed on their practice squad. Following a release from Dallas, he later latched on the Kansas City Chiefs roster during the 2020 playoffs, captured Super Bowl LIV and re-signed with the Chiefs this offseason until he was released in May following the team’s selection of Clyde Edwards-Helaire early in the draft.

If Weber did sign with the Lions, it would represent a homecoming for the runner given he grew up in Detroit and attended nearby Cass Tech High School. Weber spurned hometown college programs like Michigan and Michigan State to play for the Buckeyes, so if he came back, it would be a big deal for both Weber and fans alike. Just 22, Weber theoretically still has time to carve out an NFL role for himself somewhere.

In Detroit, Weber would have an uphill battle as it relates to roster inclusion. Suddenly, the Lions are loaded at running back, with multiple solid young players at the spot. Weber could certainly have a chance at sticking on the team’s practice squad, however, which would likely be a dream come true for the youngster.


Lions Credited for Offseason Running Back Additions

Following the draft finishing up, Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com took a look at some of the biggest themes from every team’s performance. When it came to the Lions, it was obvious there was a serious theme and it had everything to do with getting tougher in the trenches and improving what has been a severely weak running game.

Rosenthal wrote:

“From the selection of running back D’Andre Swift this year and Kerryon Johnson in 2018 to the interior line picks that GM Bob Quinn has made in the last few years, the Lions have invested a lot of capital in improving their running game — but they have yet to see great results. Quinn needs that vision to come together this season. Swift is the type of talent who can put the team’s running game over the top.”

With Kerryon Johnson, Bo Scarbrough and now D’Andre Swift, the Lions have a loaded backfield of former SEC standouts. More than that, the team was able to add guards to their stable in Jonah Jackson as well as Logan Stenberg, affectionately known as “Mr. Nasty.” Those players will try and change the narrative that the team simply can’t run the ball. If a ground game is like a mindset, the Lions have changed their mind more than a bit.

Following the draft, general manager Bob Quinn admitted that his team wants to change how they are viewed and get more physical up front. That will now be the goal heading into 2020.


Lions Deep at Running Back

Detroit has a solid player on their team currently in Kerryon Johnson that they are developing. Johnson, however, has run into a few issues with injuries the last few years, so the team was looking for someone else that can be a solid running mate for Johnson moving forward. On the roster, Bo Scarbrough showed late last season that he could be a potential answer for the team. The Lions also have Ty Johnson and another 2020 pick Jason Huntley. Clearly, the Lions were looking for someone else to build around. That’s why they felt as if they may want to target the draft, which is where Swift came in. The team could also look to free agency for another veteran running back, and if they decide that is what they want to do, Weber could be the guy to come in and add to the competition.

Now that the Lions have managed to add another running back and some pounding offensive linemen, the team is seemingly on the right track toward fixing one of their biggest problems of the last few years.

Adding Weber might only help them get stronger if it were to happen.

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