Detroit Lions: 53-man roster prediction prior to season opener

Detroit Lions (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions
Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Running Backs:

In: (5) D’Andre Swift, Kerryon Johnson, Jason Huntley, Jonathan Williams, Jason Cabinda (FB)

Out: Ty Johnson, Bo Scarbrough, Wes Hills

Rationale: Kerryon Johnson and D’Andre Swift should provide the Lions with a dangerous 1-2 combination at the top of the rotation. However, Swift’s usage early in the season could be diminished due to a leg injury that has robbed him of most of training camp, and Johnson has played in only 18 career games. Thus, the depth behind them becomes critical.

Scarbrough seemed like a good bet to make the roster prior to August, but he too has barely practiced. He has been unable to shake the injury bug that has plagued him since college, and the Lions can’t afford to enter the season with two banged-up tailbacks. Williams bumps him as the power option.

Huntley and Ty Johnson could duke it out right down to the wire and this should be one of the tightest races on the team. Huntley’s special teams potential gives him the edge, with Johnson being stashed on the practice squad if another running-back needy team doesn’t claim him.

At fullback, Nick Bawden was placed on injured reserve earlier this week. He has been unable to stay healthy since being drafted in 2018, and his time with the Lions may be done.

Cabinda grabs the spot by default, and he has emerged as a viable replacement for Bawden after making a position switch. He also offers unique versatility with his background as a linebacker.