Former Lions running back Kerryon Johnson only played four NFL seasons, and really two where he played a lot, and he’s blaming just who you’d expect for that fact.
The functional shelf life for NFL running backs is shorter than really any other position, which is why it’s important they get paid when they have an opportunity (see Jamaal Williams). Former Lions running back Kerryon Johnson never got a chance at a significant second contract.
A second-round pick by Detroit in 2018, knee issues impacted Johnson’s first two seasons. He ended the 2019 season on IR, and while he played all 16 games in 2020 he barely played (52 carries). He was waived by the Lions new regime after the 2021 draft, and made the rounds of a couple practice squads and free agent workout circuit through that season as he ultimately barely played in one game for the San Francisco 49ers.
Kerryon Johnson blames exactly who you’d expect for derailing his NFL career
Johnson was out of the NFL last season, and he has not even surfaced in the USFL or now the new rendition of the XFL. His football playing days seem done, and he’s still just 25 years old (26 in June).
As NFL free agency goes on this week, Johnson was asked on social media why he is not playing football.
Johnson is pointing the finger right at former Lions head coach Matt Patricia for his not being able to play football anymore. Given the rampant sentiment from those who played for Patricia in Detroit about how he treated players, Darius Slay and Quandre Diggs front and center, it’s not surprising to see Johnson point that finger.
Ultimately, there’s a fine line between a “tough love” approach to push and motivate players and doing what Patricia did to openly alienate them like he most prominently did with Slay.
A “military general” approach, as Patricia tried to be Bill Belichick without the equity to do it, literally cost Johnson his longest possible football-playing career in his estimation. And even without knowing both sides or all the finer details, Patricia gets no benefit of the doubt with anything.