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Wednesday open thread: How many running backs should the Detroit Lions keep?

The Lions have a lot of talent at RB, but how many players can they keep around?

NFL: AUG 05 Lions-Patriots Joint Training Camp Photo by Allan Dranberg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Earlier this week, our own John Whiticar posted about the logjam of talent at wide receiver. Do the Lions keep five, six or even seven wideouts? With all the talent at the position and only a limited amount of targets to go around, it’s truly a conundrum for Detroit’s front office.

But the problem may be even more complicated in the Lions’ offensive backfield. Last year’s running backs in Kerryon Johnson, Bo Scarbrough and Ty Johnson all showed enough in 2019 to believe there’s room for them on this roster. But injury concerns—among other things—caused the Lions to add D’Andre Swift, Jason Huntley and Jonathan Williams to the mix. Now the Lions have a lot of guys with potential, but many come with questions or injury concerns.

Oh, and we haven’t even talked about the mess that fullback is right now...

So today’s Question of the Day is:

How many running backs should the Lions keep?

My answer: Five.

Right now, I have Kerryon Johnson, D’Andre Swift, Ty Johnson, Jason Huntley and Jonathan Williams in. Currently, I don’t have a pure fullback in. I’m either giving those responsibilities to Isaac Nauta or potentially linebacker Jason Cabinda, who has repping as the team’s No. 1 fullback for the past few practices with Nauta and Nick Bawden sidelined from team drills.

I think all five of those backs can bring something unique to the Lions’ offense, yet none of them have shown themselves to be reliable when it comes to health. So, in a way, all of them are necessary to cover for each other.

But they can also serve separate roles. Jason Huntley and Ty Johnson could contend for the kick return job. Jonathan Williams can be a power back role—a role that may not be necessary on its own, but would prove nice as a complement. D’Andre Swift can pretty much do anything, and Kerryon Johnson may find a nice niche as a fresh set of legs coming off the bench.

It may be a luxury to keep this many backs, but the Lions can potentially use all of them, and the talent is there.

Your turn.


How many RBs should the Lions keep (including FB)?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    (82 votes)
  • 70%
    (361 votes)
  • 12%
    (66 votes)
509 votes total Vote Now