Insider Shares Devastating Injury Update on Lions RB Zonovan Knight

Dan Campbell

Getty Head coach Dan Campbell and the Detroit Lions have made their first round of roster cuts ahead of the August 29 deadline.

The Detroit Lions already suffered a pair of major injuries on defense and now have lost an offensive player to a season-ending injury.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on October 13 that the Lions lost backup running back Zonovan Knight for the season after he was hurt in the team’s Week 5 win.

“Lions’ running back Zonovan ‘Bam’ Knight suffered a season-ending shoulder injury Sunday vs. the Panthers, per sources. Knight started four games last season for the Jets before signing with the Lions this past summer,” Schefter reported.

The Lions could now be forced to look to free agency to fill out a backfield that has been hit by injuries through the early part of the season.


Hole in the Backfield

Knight was a late addition to the Lions’ backfield, signing to the practice squad on August 28 after he was waived by the New York Jets. The Lions elevated the veteran running back to the active roster following their Week 2 loss to the Seattle Seahawks after an injury to lead running back David Montgomery.

Knight appeared in two games, taking 3 carries for 13 total yards and making 1 reception for 8 yards.

At the time Knight was first elevated, Lions head coach Dan Campbell said he planned to utilize a tandem attack while Montgomery was out.

“I still see it being by committee if D-Mo can’t go, but certainly [Jahmyr] Gibbs is going to get more opportunities,” Campbell said, via MLive.com. “And there again, the more – he got a little bit more, and there are some plays he made and there’s a lot he left out. And some of that is part of being a rookie. He’ll get better from those with the more exposure he gets. And we need him to grow, and he will.”

Knight was hurt after making a reception in the team’s win over the Carolina Panthers on October 8 and was helped off the field by the team’s training staff while holding his arm in pain. Knight had been held out of practices earlier in the week before Schefter’s report that he had suffered a season-ending shoulder injury.


Lions May Need More Help

The Lions may need to bring in more help to make up for Knight’s injury. They have one running back on the practice squad, veteran Devine Ozigbo.

Ozigbo has appeared in 25 games since entering the league in 2019, serving primarily as a pass-catching back during his three seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars. For his career, Ozigbo has 14 receptions for 75 yards and 14 carries for 29 yards with 1 touchdown. He was also a regular on special teams.

The Lions are already dealing with a number of injuries to key defensive players, including two of their top offseason additions. Safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson went down with a season-ending torn pectoral muscle, and cornerback Emmanuel Moseley suffered a torn ACL just two snaps into his season debut against the Panthers. Moseley had a torn ACL in the opposite leg last season while with the San Francisco 49ers, and had just been cleared to return for last week’s game after completing his long rehab process.

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