The Detroit Lions have added a new running back, but it isn’t the one you may be expecting. The team announced on Friday morning they have added former University of Cincinnati back Michael Warren to the squad, while waiving running back Rakeem Boyd with an injury settlement.
Warren went undrafted in 2020 but was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles shortly after the draft. There, he obviously overlapped with current Lions assistant head coach and running backs coach Duce Staley. Warren stuck with the Eagles through training camp but did not make the final roster. For the rest of the 2020 season, he spent time on the practice squads of the Eagles, Panthers, and Washington Football Team.
At Cincinnati, Warren was a two-year starter who racked up quite the statistical resume. In 2018, he ran for 1,329 yards and 19 touchdowns. He followed that up with 1,265 yards and 14 touchdowns his junior year.
Nicknamed “the truck” because of his bruising running style, Warren has the potential to find a role as a short-yardage back. He only runs with one speed, but he is a one-cut runner who takes advantage of what an offensive line gives him. He has solid hands, but his limited experience as a pass blocker and on special teams will be a big obstacle for him making the 53-man roster.
#Cincinnati Jr RB Michael Warren (5’11” 218) rushed for 1,329 yrds averaging 5.4 ypc with 19 rush TDs. 19 RUSHING TDS!! Broke out with a 32.50% DR in 18’. 8.29% target share (31). 25 rec 232 yrds & 1TD. Verified 4.49 40 according to 247Sports profile. 113.2 SPDSC #devy #CFF pic.twitter.com/oKmkHTACpU— Jason DiRienzo (@allpurposescout) May 12, 2019
Boyd was added as an undrafted rookie this year, but he did not participate in rookie minicamp nor the first two weeks of organized team activities due to an undisclosed injury. Because the Lions waived him with an injury settlement, there is always the chance he returns to the team. However, it’s certainly a big blow to his chances of latching on with a team for his rookie season.
The Lions still have two remaining roster spots open after waiving fullback Nick Bawden and defensive tackle John Atkins earlier in the week. On Thursday, head coach Dan Campbell told the media they were still interested in adding Todd Gurley to their backfield. The signing of Warren does not likely impact that.