Leonard Fournette Floated as Option for Injury-Struck Lions

Leonard Fournette

Getty Leonard Fournette could land with a division rival after his release from the Bucs.

As the Detroit Lions have been racking up wins this season, they have also been accumulating injuries to their backfield.

One insider believes it could be time to bring in some veteran help.

Max Gerber of USA Today’s Lions Wire broke down the team’s potential additions after top backs Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery are both expected to miss time while third-string back Zonovan Knight suffered a season-ending injury. Gerber noted the Lions may be most likely to bring back one of their recent running backs, but also could consider veteran Leonard Fournette as an option.

‘Longshot’ Signing Could Help Lions

The Lions will be without Montgomery for the near future after he suffered a rib injury in the team’s October 15 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Gibbs could miss the team’s next game.

The Lions do have running back Craig Reynolds on the roster and Devine Ozigbo on the practice squad, but Gerber wrote that the team will likely bring in more help. The options could include Benny Snell, who was with the Lions during the preseason, and former Lions back Jermar Jefferson.

But Gerber also noted that Fournette could be a “longshot” option to help the team make it through the stretch of injuries.

“Former first-round pick Leonard Fournette is still on the market despite several strong seasons with Tampa Bay,” Gerber wrote. “Injuries have been a concern for him, but Detroit needs all the help they can possibly get at running back right now.”

Gerber added that Fournette, who has 79 career starts and two 1,000-yard seasons to go along with a Super Bowl title with the Buccaneers, is the “most talented and experienced running back still available.”

“If the Lions are expecting Montgomery to miss some serious time, Fournette might be their best bet,” Gerber wrote.

Lions Missing Top Back

Montgomery has been the most effective back for the Lions this season, rushing 94 times for 385 yards with six touchdowns. Montgomery was taken for X-rays after suffering a rib injury in Sunday’s win, and head coach Dan Campbell said they were negative but more tests were being conducted.

Campbell would not say whether Montgomery was headed to injured reserve, but noted that he suffered a tricky injury that will likely keep him out a while.

“He’s got a little something in there, the cartilage. He’s probably gonna be down for a little bit here,” Campbell said, via SI.com. “I don’t know how long. That’ll just be, really how long it takes for this to — at his position, that’s not an easy thing to deal with. So, we’ll just take it as it comes. I think there’s a chance we won’t have him for a little bit.”

While the full extent of the injury is not yet known, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reported that he is expected to miss some time.

“Another hit for the Lions, though nothing has slowed them yet: Sounds like Lions RB David Montgomery will miss some time with the rib injury he suffered yesterday,” Birkett wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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