The Detroit Lions head into 2022 with overhauls and upgrades at many positions, but one position that remained largely untouched was running back. It makes sense considering there wasn’t a need for running back while many other position groups needed the help. Nonetheless, the Lions aren’t looking too deep at the position in 2023.
For now, let’s focus on all the returners. The Lions only added Greg Bell, a UDFA rookie out of San Diego State. Otherwise, they return DeAndre Swift, Jamaal Williams, Jermar Jefferson, Godwin Igwebuike, Craig Reynolds, and at fullback, Jason Cabinda.
Question of the day: Will all of last year’s running backs make this year’s roster?
My answer: I find it tough to see them all making the 53-man roster.
Swift and Williams are in, there’s no doubting that. Craig Reynolds is the next man in, in my opinion. The coaching staff, especially Duce Staley, have spoken too highly of “Netflix” (or as Staley now calls him, “Hulu”) for him to be on the outside looking in. Next in is Jermar Jefferson in my book. He’s a relatively complete back and filled in admirably last season when the Lions had a slew of injured running backs. Plus, in the event the Lions need bodies at fullback, the latter two can pivot.
When Duce Staley was asked how they will replace Jason Cabinda (if he can't play), he said Craig Reynolds and Jermar Jefferson has both asked to fill the role.— Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) December 31, 2021
I hate to say it, but I think Godwin Igwebuike is on the outside looking in. While he, like Jefferson, filled in admirably last season, Igwebuike is a more one-dimensional back and doesn’t offer the same power that Jefferson does. Not to mention, Igwebuike’s fumbling issues became a problem late in the season.
At the end of the day, the way I see it playing out is either 1) Igwebuike getting cut initially and the Lions bringing him back a few days or weeks later after they’ve further trimmed the roster, or 2) a running back gets hurt in camp, opening a spot for everyone to stick around.
Initially, however, I don’t see everyone from last year’s squad sticking to the 53-man roster.
Agree? Disagree? Should Netflix be on the outside looking in? Let’s hear it.
Will all of last year’s running backs make this year’s 53-man roster?