- The Detroit Lions are cutting running back Kerryon Johnson after three seasons.
- Johnson was Detroit’s 2nd round pick in 2018 but he spent his firs two seasons dealing with injuries.
- The Lions have the longest odds to win their division and the NFC conference.
The Detroit Lions have released running back Kerryon Johnson after three seasons.
Detroit Lions cutting Kerryon Johnson after three seasons https://t.co/6VfI1anBDn
— Detroit Free Press (@freep) May 6, 2021
He was the running back who snapped the team’s 70-game streak without a 100-yard rusher. However, after battling injuries and watching his production decrease year after year, the Lions are cutting him.
Johnson became expendable after the Lions drafted a running back in the 7th round of the NFL Draft last week and signed free agent running back Jamaal Williams last March.
Detroit’s Second Round Pick in 2018
— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) April 27, 2018
Johnson was the Lions’ 2nd round pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. Detroit traded up so they could pick the former Auburn star 43rd overall. He led the Lions in rushing during the 2018 season with 641 yards when a left knee injury limited him to just 10 games. In 2019, Johnson ran for only 403 yards and saw his yards per attempt drop from 5.4 yards to 3.6 yards per carry. He suffered a right knee injury that sent him to the injury reserve for eight games.
After an injury filled first two seasons, Johnson enjoyed a healthy 2020 campaign where he played in all 16 regular season games. However, he primarily played a third down role with veteran Adrian Peterson leading Detroit in rushing yards (604) and attempts (156) before ceding playing time to Swift who became the team’s starting RB.
Detroit signed free agent RB Jamaal Williams last March to be their no. 2 back behind Swift. The Lions also used their 7th round pick on running back Jermar Jefferson from Oregon State to be their no. 2 back this season. Jefferson ran for 1,380 yards with 12 touchdowns as a freshman and averaged a career-best 6.5 yards per carry as a junior last season.
Lions’ Futures Odds
Odds to win the NFC North
Green Bay Packers -140
Minnesota Vikings +260
Chicago Bears +300
Detroit Lions +2200
— BetOnline.ag (@betonline_ag) May 6, 2021
Detroit has made one playoff appearance in the previous five seasons and has missed the last four postseasons. They have not won a playoff game since losing in the NFC title game to Washington in 1991. Since then, they have made a total of eight wild card appearances but are winless in those games.
The Lions went 8-23-1 combined in the last two seasons. Matt Patricia was fired after starting 4-7 last season while interim head coach Darrell Bevell finished the season with a 1-4 record. Detroit hired former tight end Dan Campbell last January to be their head coach for the upcoming season. Detroit also traded Matthew Stafford to the L.A. Rams for Jared Goff during the offseason.
According to online sportsbook SportsBetting.ag, the Lions have the longest odds to make the playoffs in the NFC at +550 while they also have the longest odds to win the NFC North at +2200. The Lions’ win total has been set at 5 with the over going at +125 and the under currently at -155.