Lions Sign Productive Ex-Chargers Running Back

Justin Jackson

Getty Justin Jackson playing against the Steelers in 2018.

The Detroit Lions already have some decent depth at running back, but if some is good at that position, more is always better.

After an early camp injury to undrafted free agent Greg Bell, the Lions perhaps felt they needed more depth at the position. Enter former Los Angles Chargers running back Justin Jackson.

The team revealed they had signed Jackson with a late-afternoon tweet on Monday, August 1.

“Lions have signed free agent RB Justin Jackson and have placed WR Corey Sutton on the Reserve/Retired List,” the team tweeted.

Sutton retiring from the league offers perhaps a bit of a surprise given it was figured he could compete for a role in Detroit. Depth at wideout is strong, however, and it’s possible that Sutton had to make a decision in his own best future interests.

Jackson, meanwhile, should give the Lions a decent depth play at running back. At this point early in camp, it’s never a bad idea to have more bodies at such a critical spot on the field.

Jackson’s Career Stats & Highlights

Thus far in his career, Jackson spent all his time with the Chargers. Coming out of Northwestern, he was a 2018 seventh-round pick of Los Angeles and has played a depth role with the team in his career.

As soon as Jackson got into the league, he started to make a statistical impact. As a rookie, he put up 341 total yards and 2 touchdowns. As a whole, he has put up 1,040 rushing yards, 508 receiving yards and 4 total touchdowns. Jackson also has seven career starts.

Jackson was not re-signed after the 2021 season, and will now try to make a bigger impact with the Lions than he has made with the Chargers. He has shown what he is capable of at times, but Detroit might think he offers them more.

Jackson Will Boost Lions Running Back Depth

What was the reason for the Jackson addition? He is a young running back who has plenty of tread left on his tires yet some solid NFL experience to rely on.

The team has long maintained they are looking for consistent depth at the position. Last season, the Lions were decent, but did suffer injuries. Jackson could help the team if he finds a way on the field. The Lions need to strive for something more consistent than the 19th ranked rush offense in the league.

Last season, the Lions only rushed for 12 touchdowns and 1,886 yards. Their 4.4 yards per-carry average wasn’t near the lowest total in the league, but could also improve.

Jackson himself might not cure all ills, but he adds to the depth of a solid room. Now, with a healthy Swift, the team feels like a good bet to break through. Jamaal Williams offers Detroit a solid running mate for their star, and names such as Godwin Igwebuike, Craig Reynolds and Jermar Jefferson offer the team good depth.

Jackson will now set out trying to impress the Lions enough to crack the 2022 roster in camp and the preseason.

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