Detroit Lions: Is it one and done for LeGarrette Blount?
The Detroit Lions signed running back LeGarrette Blount to shore up their short-yardage run game. But are they now ready to move on from the 32-year old?
The Detroit Lions possessed the NFL’s worst rushing attack in 2017. So general manager Bob Quinn and the Lions’ front office went about the business of improving the Motor City’s running game this past offseason.
As a result, the Lions signed veteran running back LeGarrette Blount to a one-year, $2 million deal as a free agent. Coming off of the third Super Bowl victory of his career, this time as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, Blount seemed like the perfect answer for Detroit’s short-yardage woes.
Unfortunately, the ninth-year veteran has started to show his age. In his debut in Detroit, the 32-year old rushed for -3 yards on four carries in a 48-17 blowout loss to the New York Jets in Week One. Although Blount’s recorded moderately better performances since, he has only been able to post 50 or more rushing yards in a game just three times this season.
Entering Week 17, Blount has recorded a total of 403 rushing yards. That’s his lowest yardage total since 2012. And his 2.8 yards per carry average is the lowest of his entire nine-year career. Based on his performance, it’s hard to imagine Blount being re-signed in 2019.
According to Kyle Meinke of MLive.com, Blount has likely played his last game in Detroit already.
"“We already know what LeGarrette Blount can do, and it isn’t much. He’s averaging 2.8 yards per carry this season, almost a full yard less than he’s averaged in any other season of his career. At 32 years old, it just seems like his best days are behind him. It certainly seems like he won’t be back next year.”"
If LeGarrette Blount isn’t asked to return, the running back position will once again become an offseason priority for Detroit. Although rookie running back Kerryon Johnson appears to be a budding superstar, his troubling injury history means the Lions are not able to rely on him as a workhorse-type back. And despite Zach Zenner‘s recent resurgence, Detroit would be wise to add another key piece to aid this unit.