The Detroit Lions have been without running back Jahmyr Gibbs for the last two games as he dealt with a hamstring issue. The trend for him to play on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens has been positive, with limited practices Wednesday and Thursday, and on Friday morning head coach Dan Campbell basically confirmed it.
"He’s going to need to take the load of it,” Campbell said. “We’re just going to have to see where he’s at. I’d like to say we’re going to be careful with it, but the reality of it is we need him. So we’ll go as far as he can take us here, trying to be as smart as we can, but he’s gotta go. He’s ready.”
With David Montgomery (ribs) out, depth depleted by Zonovan Knight (shoulder) likely out for the season and Craig Reynolds popping on this week's practice reports with hamstring and toe issues, Gibbs will be lined up to take a pretty big workload in his return.
Jahmyr Gibbs injury update: Expected to play, take a big workload vs. Ravens
When Montgomery missed Week 3 against the Atlanta Falcons, we got a glimpse of what the backfield split may look like Sunday against the Ravens.
Gibbs: 17 carries for 80 yards, one reception for two yards; 60 percent snap share (42 snaps)
Reynolds: four carries for 15 yards; 29 percent snap share (20 snaps)
Knight: three carries for 13 yards; 10 percent snap share (seven snaps)
Of course Knight is out now. Devine Ozigbo may be the No. 3 back for the Lions on Sunday.
Campbell was sure to confirm that the Lions' identity in the run game will not change with Gibbs in the lead role.
"There’s a few things we think he does well, but ultimately we’re going to keep what we do well, and what our o-line does well, our tight ends,” Campbell said. “Because we believe—we don’t think he’s just some, ‘Hey, you just got to get him on the perimeter. He’s not an inside runner.’ We don’t believe that. So, we’re keeping the identity of what we do and the core of what we do in the run game. So that won’t really change.”
The Lions are also set to get rookie defensive back Brian Branch back on Sunday, after he has also missed the last two games. But Gibbs is arguably the bigger headline, as opportunity knocks for him in Montgomery's absence.