The Detroit Lions needed to find a successor to LeGarrette Blount this offseason. They found such a player in veteran running back C.J. Anderson.
Last year, the Detroit Lions committed to improving their short-yardage opportunities by signing three-time Super Bowl-winning bruiser back LeGarrette Blount. And though Blount certainly had his moments, like scoring five rushing touchdowns, the aging runner also posted a career-low 2.7 yards per carry and was not re-sign this offseason.
With second-year phenom Kerryon Johnson set to be the Lion’s workhorse in the future, Detroit still needed to find him a veteran running mate who had the experience and hard-nosed running ability the team wanted out of Blount last season.
"“I just think that meshes well when you start adding Darrell Bevell and what he’s done in the past in Minnesota and Seattle with AP and Marshawn Lynch, Thomas Rawls, you can name back after back. It was a perfect fit … You want to go where you’re wanted. I was really wanted here.”"
Anderson went undrafted out of California in 2013 but landed with the Denver Broncos as a rookie free agent. He’d rush for nearly 2,000 yards in his first four seasons, helping the Broncos win a Super Bowl in 2015. Anderson rushed for his lone 1,000-yard season in 2017, his final year in Denver.
During his sixth season in the NFL, Anderson bounced around three different teams last year, finally landing with the playoff-bound Los Angeles Rams. During his five-game stint with the Rams, which included three playoff games, the then 27-year old rushed for a total of 488 yards and four scores. He also had a run of three straight 100+ rushing yard games.
Late last season, C.J. Anderson proved he still belongs in the NFL. And in Detroit, he found a team that is in desperate need of his skills. With new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell running the show in Motown, fans can expect to see a more concerted effort to run the football in the Motor City. And you can bet Anderson will play a monster role in that effort.