The Lions escaped a scary situation this past weekend after David Montgomery had to exit the game at Tampa Bay due to a rib injury in the first half.
Detroit had to turn to Craig Reynolds and practice-squad player Devin Ozigbo to carry the load and the two combined for just 20 rushing yards on 13 carries along with three receptions for 36 yards.
That isn’t a recipe for long-term success, and that’s cause for some concern after Lions coach Dan Campbell announced that Montgomery will “miss some time” due to his injury.
Even though Jahmyr Gibbs could return this week, it’s clear that the Lions offense works best with two reliable running backs.
Three Free Agent RBs Lions Could Sign
If the Lions are going to make a running back addition, they might want to move quickly.
Green Bay added James Robinson and the LA Rams added Darrell Henderson Jr. on Tuesday – further shallowing out the pool of available options.
Let’s take a look at some of the more intriguing players Detroit could sign.
Playoff Lenny has received interest from multiple teams this season and even had a visit scheduled with Buffalo on Tuesday until it was canceled.
That shows there’s at least some interest in Fournette, and there should be!
Fournette is a bit removed from his prime and shouldn’t be relied upon to be a bell-cow running back anymore, but his style of play could fill the Montgomery role in the short term.
At 28 years old, he should still have some juice left to give. His 3.5 yards per carry last season doesn’t inspire much confidence, but he has proven the ability to be effective while shouldering several carries.
Hilliard was very effective in a limited role with Tennessee last season, rushing 22 times for 145 yards (6.6 yards per rush) and he’s averaged 5.9 yards per rush over 100 career carries!
Hilliard is 28, but has little NFL tread on his tires and could be perfect for an expanded role while Montgomery is out.
He’s also an effective pass-catcher, too, with 62 career receptions for 463 receiving yards, which could allow Gibbs to take on more carries.
Huntley was impressive in his rookie season last year, rushing for 366 yards on just 76 rushes (4.8 yards per rush).
However, he wasn’t re-signed by Atlanta because he tore his achilles late last season and the team added Bijan Robinson in the NFL Draft – pushing Huntley out of the picture.
The 25-year–old is short on experience and is coming off a brutal injury, but could have the most potential of any running back available right now.
Considering he’s never signed a big-time deal, Huntley should be available on the cheap, if he’s ready to play again.
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