As the summer months begin, the Detroit Lions running back situation has become a hot topic. Not due to lack of talent or a high draft pick. It has more to do with expectations of second-year running back D’Andre Swift, the role of free-agent signing Jamaal Williams and a recent visit from veteran Todd Gurley potentially creating a logjam at the position.
A quick connection would be Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes and quarterback Jared Goff being with Gurley in Los Angeles. And whether you think Gurley should sign or not, Swift has even come out and said he’d be fine with Gurley joining the squad. Maybe that’s because of a second connection to both backs playing at the University of Georgia. Or maybe it’s just a coincidence.
Either way, it has stirred up some conversations as Lions head coach Dan Campbell recently mentioned the team is still talking with Gurley’s agent and still has an interest in bringing the veteran to the Motor City. But did clarify that ” Just because we have interest in him, that does not affect our feeling and our thoughts on both Swift and Williams.”
What will Lions’ running back situation look like?
Looking at the depth chart, Swift is on top. This means he’s naturally going to have opportunities to be the hot hand. Campbell also commented that the Lions would go with the hot hand at the positions, so adding another back – even Gurley – might not make a difference. It would be a surprise if, as the starter, Swift doesn’t get the early touches and the chance to get rolling.
There will most likely be some situational football going on during games. We haven’t seen a game yet to know for sure, but as guys get tired, substitutions are common. Don’t be surprised if Swift is on the sidelines here and there this season, especially early in the year, as the team figures out the roles of each guy in the backfield.
We also haven’t heard word that the backs would be swapping out every other series or anything like that. This is good news for Swift and his chances to be the lead back as the season goes on. Williams, and potentially Gurley, would get a chance here and there but should be viewed as solid depth at an important position until proven otherwise.
So, bring on Gurley, a talented and knowledgeable veteran, to be a positive influence for this Detroit Lions backfield. His presence could only be beneficial at this point as the team looks to move up the standings, even if they are in the middle of an obvious overhaul of their team and culture.