As a team, the Detroit Lions are hoping to have a bounce-back season after going 3-12-1 last year. Here are two players who need similar career resurgences.
When you talk about the prospects of having a bounce-back season in 2020, you could apply that label to just about every single player on the Detroit Lions‘ roster. Undoubtedly, both head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn fall into that category as well after the playoff contender mandate handed down by owner Martha Firestone Ford at the end of last season.
But if we had to choose two Lions’ players, one from each side of the ball, that had the most riding on a bounce-back performance in 2020, who would they be? Here’s our answer …
Kerryon Johnson, RB
When the Lions selected Georgia running back D’Andre Swift in the second round of this year’s draft, it was presented as a move to help to secure the position alongside starter Kerryon Johnson. But the truth is Johnson has struggled to stay healthy through his first two seasons in Detroit.
The 22-year old Johnson must prove he can stay healthy through a full-16 game schedule and possibly beyond in 2020. He must also continue to build on the potential he’s flashed during his time in Motown. If not, it appears the Lions already have his successor in-house.
Jarrad Davis, LB
The Lions declined the fifth-year option of linebacker Jarrad Davis, making 2020 the final year under his rookie contract. Regardless of how much head coach Matt Patricia publicly raves about Davis, calling him a cornerstone of what they’re trying to do, the decision not to pick up his option says enough to believe his performance this upcoming season will determine his future in the Motor City.
Earning a steadily declining overall grade from Pro Football Focus through his first three years in the NFL (a career-low 40.4 in 2019), Jarrad Davis has a lot to prove in order to live up to his lofty first-round draft status. The 25-year old linebacker knows there are aspects of his game that need improvement, but believes he has the talent to conquer them. This upcoming season will be the proving ground.