Detroit Lions: Rookie could have a monster game in Miami

Detroit Lions. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions could get a monster performance from one of their rookies when they face off against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

In golf, getting “teed up” is placing your ball on a tee in preparation for that first big hit, usually with a driver, out of the tee box. When applying that same phrase to the 2-3 Detroit Lions‘ upcoming matchup against the 4-2 Miami Dolphins this Sunday, it’s rookie running back Kerryon Johnson that appears to be “teed up” to have a monster performance.

Having earned the start in his last two games, Johnson has been showing the Lions’ coaching staff that he’s ready to be given more opportunities to shine. And with fellow running back Theo Riddick already ruled out of the game against the Dolphins due to a knee injury, it should be Detroit’s second rounder who benefits from those extra carries.

Through his first five games in the Motor City, Johnson has rushed for 286 yards and a touchdown on 50 carries. He is averaging 5.7 yards per rushing attempt, which is the second highest average of any rookie runner with 50 carries or more. And it’s the fifth highest per attempt average in the entire NFL.

According to’s Graham Barfield, Johnson is set to have a monster game in Miami.

"“The Dolphins rarely stack the box, too, committing eight or more defenders to the tackle box on 18.6 percent of rush plays (11th-lowest rate). It’s likely Miami will be unable to stack the box often against a Detroit team that runs 11-personnel (3WR) 60 percent of the time, per Next Gen Stats. If Riddick misses, this sets up as an incredibly attractive breakout spot for Johnson.”"

Johnson will still split carries with veteran LeGarrette Blount, who is coming off a two-touchdown performance in a big win over the Lions’ NFC North rivals, the Green Bay Packers, in Week Five. But the 31-year old veteran is a short-yardage specialist, averaging just 2.5 yards per carry through five games.

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With the news that Theo Riddick has been officially ruled out for their contest against the Miami Dolphins, the Detroit Lions will lean more on rookie Kerryon Johnson not only as a runner, but as a receiver out of the backfield. Johnson has posted 13 receptions for 68 yards through the air so far and figures to boosts those numbers considerably this weekend due to Riddick’s absence. All signs are pointing to the first-year back posting a monster game in the Sunshine State.