It was very clear that the Detroit Lions were in the market for a backup running back this free agency. Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn made it clear in press conferences they weren’t going to make second-year back Kerryon Johnson a workhorse back, and the Lions’ early efforts to add some backfield help further magnified their intentions.
It appears the Lions have finally settled on who will assume that position. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Lions have reached a one-year agreement with former Rams and Broncos running back C.J. Anderson.
Former Rams’ RB C.J. Anderson reached agreement on a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions, per source. Chance to produce this season, then hit market again after this season.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 1, 2019
Anderson is coming off a successful season as the Rams/Panthers backup tailback. He finished with 403 rushing yards and an impressive 6.0 yards per carry. Prior to his time with both of those teams, Anderson served as the Broncos starting running back, eclipsing 1,000 yards in 2017 and 4.1 yards per carry.
At 5-foot-8, 225 pounds, Anderson fills the role of a more physical back to Johnson’s elusiveness. In two regular season games with the Rams last year, Anderson averaged 4.6 yards after contact per attempt, according to PFF.
Anderson comes in and will immediately contend with Zach Zenner for the RB2 job. It will be interesting to see how the Lions deal with their current slate of running backs. Does this make Theo Riddick expendable? Will this knock Zenner off the roster? Is running back still a possibility on Day 2 or 3 of the draft?