Could the Detroit Lions most underrated player be backup running back, C.J. Anderson? There is a very real chance this veteran has been overlooked.
It is no secret that the Detroit Lions have had a rough history and will have to do a lot of work to gain any respect or recognition on the national level. As many players on the Lions’ roster are underrated time and time again, could the most underrated player on the team be a veteran on a one-year deal and will someone who will play a backup role for Detroit? I believe so … and you might too.
C.J. Anderson will presumably be playing behind sophomore running back and fan favorite, Kerryon Johnson. With his raw power and ability to blast through defenders, Anderson should be a nice compliment to the all too elusive Johnson.
Backup or not, Anderson has been overlooked and underrated by many. This man can flat-out ball and he certainly must have high hopes of having another big year in Detroit. Anderson is a bruising back at 5-foot-8, 225 pounds that can gain yards by bulldozing even the stingiest defenses. He can also drain the clock with first downs when needed.
Anderson is 28-years-old and entering his seventh season in the league. Yet, C.J. has never been the workhorse as he has always been a compliment to a heavy-passing attack for the entirety of his NFL career. Anderson has plenty of gas left in the tank and can still compete in this league as he showed last season.
Anderson played collegiality for California and was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Denver Broncos in 2013. Anderson played for Denver from 2013-2017. In his career, Anderson has accumulated 3,454 yards on 760 carries with an average of 4.5 yards per attempt. He has 22 career rushing touchdowns and five career receiving touchdowns; according to pro-football-reference.com
Anderson started the 2018 season with the Carolina Panthers, playing in nine games with one start. He only had 24 touches for 104 yards in Carolina. The Panthers waived Anderson in November, as there was clearly no role for him. He then signed with the Los Angeles Rams in December. Through five games (including the playoffs and Super Bowl) with the Rams, Anderson tallied up 488 yards on 67 carries with four touchdowns per NFL.com.
The six-year veteran likely has a chip on his shoulder as he was expected to have multiple suitors this offseason but generated little interest across the league. This should bode well for a Lions’ team looking to resurrect a near non-existent ground game.
As C.J. Anderson is looked at as a backup to the younger, faster, and more elusive Kerryon Johnson, the Detroit Lions may actually have two number ones manning their offensive backfield in 2019. With the Lions’ first regular-season game on the road and scheduled for September 8th against the Arizona Cardinals, we shall find out soon enough.