Detroit Lions running back situation gets worse; Tra Carson to IR
The Detroit Lions will go into California to play the Oakland Raiders without their leading rusher from Week Eight as Tra Carson is sent to Injured Reserve.
As the NFL trading deadline approached last Tuesday, there was a lot of speculation that the Detroit Lions were interested in acquiring a starting-caliber running back. And that’s because second-year running back Kerryon Johnson was recently placed on Injured Reserve after suffering his second knee injury in as many years.
Reported interest in the Miami Dolphins’ Kenyan Drake and the Atlanta Falcons’ Devonta Freeman didn’t result in a deal. And the Lions allowed the deadline to pass without adding that all-important piece.
Yet, some hope remained. In the Lions’ victory over the New York Giant in Week Eight, surprise starting running back Tra Carson rushed 12 times for 34 yards. Although his 2.8 yards per carry average inspired little confidence, it was only Carson’s first start in Detroit. Actually, it was the first start in his four-year NFL career so far! Perhaps given the chance, Carson could shine.
Well, nix that idea. At least for this season as on Saturday, the Lions placed Carson on Injured Reserve after he suffered a hamstring injury during practice on Thursday. To replace him on the active roster Detroit promoted running back Paul Perkins from the practice squad.
After Perkins recorded four yards on three carries against his former team, the Giants, Detroit promptly waived him on Wednesday. After going unclaimed, the Lions added him back to their practice squad on Friday. And now Perkins has returned to the active roster after one rollercoaster of a week.
Perkins will rejoin sixth-round rookie Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic as part of the Lions’ running back-by-committee against the Oakland Raiders and the ninth-best rushing defense in the league Sunday afternoon. Detroit has had reported workouts with free-agent running backs Jay Ajayi and Jeremy Hill, but neither one was signed.
At this point, the Detroit Lions have painted themselves into a corner when it comes to the running back position. And it’s one the team will ask quarterback Matthew Stafford and his passing attack to get them out of. But Stafford and company will face an uphill battle as opposing defenses know the Lions’ running game is nothing to fear.