While there’s an outside chance Detroit Lions running back David Montgomery plays on Sunday—he’s officially listed as doubtful—common sense figures Detroit will be without their primary running back.
Coach Dan Campbell talked this week about how essential Montgomery is to what they do offensively, which means it will be no easy task to replace him. That said, the Lions did just spend the 12th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft on running back Jahmyr Gibbs.
Gibbs and Montgomery are completely different backs, so it would be foolish to assume the rookie will just assume the injured back’s role. And Campbell also noted the team also plans to share the rock amongst a few backs.
“I still see it being by committee if D-Mo can’t go, but certainly Gibbs is going to get more opportunities,” Campbell said on Monday.
Both Craig Reynolds and Zonovan Knight are expected to be active this week, and a combination of those two will certainly get some looks against the Atlanta Falcons. But how much will Gibbs be involved? Will he still be considered the backup rusher while seeing an increased role as a receiver? Will Detroit make him the feature back complemented by the other two?
Today’s Question of the Day is:
How many touches will Jahmyr Gibbs get vs. the Falcons?
My answer: I think the Lions will still want to be a physical running team between the tackles, and that may mean not making Gibbs the primary rusher. I think there’s a lot of overlap between Montgomery and Knight, so it wouldn’t completely surprise me to see Knight get 10-15 carries in this game.
But as offensive coordinator Ben Johnson said this week, they view Gibbs as someone capable of doing everything, including running between the tackles.
“Yeah, Gibby can do anything,” Johnson said. “So yeah, we’ll see what all we ask him to do, but we feel very comfortable with him doing anything that our running backs need to do.”
So in the end, I’m also expecting Gibbs to run around that same amount: 10-15 times, plus another 5-10 targets in the passing game. In total, I think Gibbs gets around 18 touches in this game, with the potential for a handful more.
How many touches do you think Gibbs gets? How much should he get? Scroll down to the comment section below and share your thoughts.