On Sunday, the Detroit Lions not only lost a big game to the Minnesota Vikings but they also lost a big part of their offense when running back Kerryon Johnson was forced to leave the game with a knee injury.
Though Johnson was able to put weight on his leg and he was even seen pedaling on a stationary bike on the sideline, he was not able to return to the game and his status moving forward is not know at this time.
Hopefully, Kerryon is able to get healthy before the Lions take on the New York Giants in Week 8 but if he cannot give it a go, the Lions will have to have a backup plan.
Here are three ways the Lions could replace Kerryon Johnson if he is not able to play against the Giants.
Let’s Make a Deal
Even before Kerryon Johnson went down with an injury against the Vikings, I felt the Lions needed to add another running back who could share the workload.
Though I do believe Johnson is talented, he is injury-prone and having him touch the ball 20+ times per game is a mistake.
In my opinion, the best way for the Lions to replace Johnson in the short-term and to provide needed depth when he returns is to make a trade.
The player I believe the Lions should trade for is Miami Dolphins running back, Kenyan Drake.
There has already been a report that the Lions have talked to the Dolphins about Drake and now seems like the perfect time to make a trade.
Free Agent Pool
If the Lions are unable to get a trade done, do not be surprised if they bring back C.J. Anderson as a stop-gap until Kerryon Johnson returns.
Another option, if the Lions want to roll the dice, is former Philadelphia Eagles RB Jay Ajayi.
Ajayi was recently cleared to begin working out for teams after suffering tearing his ACL a year ago. Though he is coming off a significant injury, it is important to remember that Ajayi has had some pretty good success in the league when healthy and he may be worth taking a flyer on if the Lions are not able to get a deal done for Kenyon Drake.
One option for the Lions to replace Johnson would be to use what they already have on their roster.
This is an option that would only be viable if Kerryon is only going to miss one week of action and even then, it would be the last resort, in my opinion.
When I talk about in-house options, I am talking about Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic.
Though Johnson and McKissic are decent role players, I do not believe they could provide the production the Lions need from their rushing attack.
If the Lions go into Week 8 with Johnson and McKissic as their primary options, something went very wrong.