The Detroit Lions are currently closer to last place in the NFC than they are a playoff spot, but that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily out of the race entirely just seven weeks into the season. They’re a modest 2-3-1, yes, but with an easing schedule ahead and this team’s general competitiveness through the first two months of the season, you never know.
It appears Lions general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia feel this way as Tuesday’s NFL trade deadlines looms. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Lions are looking to be buyers at the deadline, with a focus on a particular area of need.
“The Lions have made calls to upgrade their roster, with a specific focus on the running back position,” Rapoport wrote on Sunday morning.
With Kerryon Johnson out for the next eight weeks after surgery on his knee, the Lions’ top two running backs are J.D. McKissic and rookie Ty Johnson. The two have combined for exactly two career starts and just 88 total carries. Though the Lions also have Tra Carson and Paul Perkins on the roster—who bring a little more experience—both have jumped on and off the roster, showing Detroit’s lack of faith in making them a feature back.
It may look weird to see the Lions as buyers at the trade deadline considering they just sent away Quandre Diggs, defensive captain, for a swap of third-day draft picks. It may sound even weirder when they’re four wins behind their division leaders and one of just six teams below .500 in the NFC. But it’s clear Detroit isn’t packing in the season quite yet, and they’re still willing to put some investment into this year and potentially beyond.