4 free agent running backs the Detroit Lions could look to add in wake of David Montgomery injury

With David Montgomery set to miss multiple games, here are a handful of running backs who could be on the Detroit Lions radar to sign
/ Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
3 of 3

2. Benny Snell

Snell was an interesting addition by the Lions in August, but he did not last through roster cuts.
He was only with the team for 19 days. but appeared in all three preseason games with 64 yards on 14 carries.

Snell's four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers were evenly divided between having a notable role in the offense and being mostly a special teamer. Over his first two seasons, he had 219 carries for 794 yards and over his last two seasons he played a total of 152 offensive snaps as Najee Harris took over as the lead back.

Snell is a strong runner who could play a similar role as Montgomery, but with less volume. He's also got familiarity with the offense and the coaching staff to drive the idea of bringing him back, if needed.

1. James Robinson

Since being released by the New York Giants in late-August, Robinson has had multiple workouts (Ravens, Colts, Packers) but left each without a deal. The Patriots signed him in March, then waived him in June in what now looks like the move they made to clear a spot for Ezekiel Elliott.

Robinson pushed Leonard Fournette out the door in Jacksonville as a rookie in 2020, and followed a nice rookie season with a solid 2021 before landing on IR to end that season. He was traded to the Jets last season, but barely played (57 offensive snaps over four games).

The Lions presumably got a solid look at Robinson during their joint practices with the Giants this summer. That he's been through so many workouts lately and remains available is surely a red flag, but if he's healthy he's young (25) with some dual-threat chops (80 catches over his two full seasons with the Jaguars). He could fit nicely in Detroit's backfield for a bit, or if Montgomery is out longer than it seems he might be right now.

Update: The Packers signed Robinson to their practice squad on Tuesday, Oct. 17.


Next. 3 Denver Broncos who should be on the Detroit Lions' radar before the trade deadline. 3 Denver Broncos who should be on the Detroit Lions' radar before the trade deadline. dark