On Wednesday, the Detroit Lions announced that they had placed running back Craig Reynolds on injured reserve with a rib injury—the 10th Lions player to land on IR this season—, signed wide receiver Trinity Benson to the active roster—confirming an earlier report—, and re-signed wide receiver Stanley Berryhill to the practice squad.
Reynolds had been operating as the Lions third option at running back, a position they have had to rely on with starter D’Andre Swift nursing injuries all season. Through eight games, Reynolds had rushed the ball 23 times for 102 yards (4.4 yards per carry) and has registered nine catches on 10 targets for 116 yards.
Reynolds has not looked as explosive as he did in 2021, and maybe only having half the amount of carries over more games factors into that, but his 4.4 YPC average is actually a career-high, which points to his consistency in the role.
Replacing him as RB3 will be Justin Jackson. Jackson has been operating as RB4 and part-time kick returner, but he is a veteran back who is in his fifth season. Currently, he averages 3.8 YPC, which is a career-low, but he has averaged 5.0 YPC over his career, and averaged 6.75 YPC as RB3 in last Sunday’s game after Reynolds went down.
If the Lions need a fourth running back as part of their game plan, second-year back Jermar Jefferson is on the practice squad. Jefferson has all three of his practice squad elevations available to him and was mentioned last week by coach Dan Campbell as someone they wanted to get a look at.
“We have a lot of guys left to get a good look at,” Campbell said. “I mean I’d love to find a way to get (James) Houston up at some point, (Jermar) Jefferson up.”
On Monday, the Lions released Berryhill from the active roster, and he returned to the practice squad as expected. As one of the team’s starting gunners, it’s possible he finds a way back on the roster for this weekend’s game, either via practice squad elevation—he has only used one of his three available—or he could potentially be re-signed again.
When the Lions released Berryhill, they opened up a spot on their 53-man roster. Placing Reynolds on IR opened up a second. While the addition of Benson, dropped them back down to one available.