After a disappointing season for him, the Detroit Lions are effectively going back to square one with D’Andre Swift.
In an effort to have him at full strength going into last season, the Detroit Lions carefully managed D’Andre Swift’s workload in training camp and preseason games. In Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles it started well, when he delivered a career-high 144 rushing yards.
But Swift emerged from that game nursing an ankle issue, and he added a shoulder injury to the docket in Week 3. He missed three games, before and after the bye week. While he played a career-best 14 games on the season, he had a career-low 99 carries and had his workload limited regularly. The season Jamaal Williams had played a role in Swift’s underperformance, but the Lions’ coaching staff clearly hesitated to trust him with more work.
As expected, Swift quickly said after the season that he’s ready to leave the 2022 season behind. Entering the final year of his rookie contract, the 2023 season is a critical one in his career–his future as a Lion almost secondary to that.
Lions going back to square one with D’Andre Swift
During his session with the media at the NFL Combine on Wednesday, via Ben Raven of MLive, Lions head coach Dan Campbell talked about Swift and limiting his workload.
"We tried to do that last year. We tried to take care of him in camp….We thought we had a recipe going into the year, and it didn’t work out,…We’re going to start all over from scratch again. Let’s find another way to see if we can help him stay on the field, you know? I already know he’s doing that for himself, so we’ve got to do that on our end. What can we do better by him? Can we? Because he’s too talented. He’s too talented to not have out there. He’s an explosive athlete.”"
“Starting all over from scratch” with a player entering his fourth season isn’t ideal. But it’s a clear testament to what Swift has to prove, and Campbell is openly wondering what the team can do to help him stay on the field.
It’s worth wondering if there will be a line that’s crossed where the Lions throw up their hands and give up on Swift. But it doesn’t sound like that point is here just yet.