The Detroit Lions announced a roster move on Monday afternoon following the team’s first padded practice at training camp.
The Lions have signed running back Justin Jackson, and in a corresponding move, wide receiver Corey Sutton has been placed on the retired list.
Jackson is a four-year veteran after being drafted by the Los Angeles Chargers in the seventh round of the 2018 draft. Over those four years, he has made 42 game appearances, including seven starts. In total, he has rushed the ball 206 times for 1,040 yards (5.0 YPC) and four touchdowns, while adding another 508 yards receiving on 65 catches. After adding Isaiah Spiller in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Chargers chose not to bring back Jackson.
At 6-foot, 200 pounds, Jackson is a speedy runner (4.5 40-yard dash), capable of playing on third downs, and isn’t afraid to play physical. The Chargers used that mentality on special teams, as Jackson played on all four units last season and for much of his Chargers career. He also has five career kick returns in the NFL for 107 yards (21.4 yards average).
With Greg Bell suffering a back/hip injury in the first week of training camp, Jackson will step into the competition with Jermar Jefferson, Godwin Igwebuike, and Craig Reynolds for the reserve running back roles behind D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams.
As for Sutton, his retirement is somewhat sudden. He practiced on Saturday but was absent for the team’s first padded practice on Monday. An undrafted rookie, Sutton joins cornerback Jermaine Waller and defensive tackle John Penisini as Lions players who have retired in the past two months.
Back in June, coach Dan Campbell addressed how he counsels players who are considering retirement.
“I want them to make sure that they really think about, ‘Okay, well what’s next and what are your next plans? Do you have a plan?’” Campbell said. “And then, ‘Man, I want you to just sit back and think about—you’re sitting here five years from now and you look back on this moment, and are you going to regret it?”