Lions to host another former Pro Bowl running back today


You may have heard late Sunday evening that the Lions are scheduled to host 3x Pro-Bowl running back DeMarco Murray today. Now, a report has surfaced that the team has scheduled a meeting with another former Pro-Bowl running back: Jonathan Stewart.

It’s no secret that the Lions have struggled mightily at the running back position for the last handful of years. Just last season, the team combined to rush for only 1,221 yards, which was the lowest total in the league. The gap between Detroit and the next lowest rushing total in the league was 145 yards.

Ameer Abdullah led the team in rushing, with a mere 552 yards on the ground last season. Theo Riddick ran for 286 yards, and Tion Green piled up 165 yards (in 42 attempts).

Stewart has played his entire 10-year professional career with the Carolina Panthers, after being selected with the 13th overall pick of the 2008 NFL Draft out of the University of Oregon. Last season, he rushed for 680 yards and six touchdowns. Stewart does the majority of his damage strictly as a runner, as he only caught eight passes for 52 yards last season. For his career, he has rushed for a total of 7,318 yards and 51 touchdowns. He does have 162 catches for 1,295 yards and seven receiving touchdowns in his career, but hasn’t caught more than 10 passes in a single season since 2015, which was the lone year that saw him earn a spot in the Pro Bowl.

At 5-foot-11 and 235 pounds, Stewart is 30 years old and saw the lowest yards per carry average of his career last season, at 3.4 yards per attempt. As a team, the Lions also averaged 3.4 yards per attempt last season.

If Detroit chooses to pass on both Stewart and Murray, there are other choices on the free agent market. Some of those other options are Dion LewisIsaiah CrowellCarlos Hyde, and Doug Martin.