2020 Preview: Projecting Kerryon Johnson's Stats

Vito Chirco

Kerryon Johnson comes into the 2020 campaign with legit competition for the No. 1 running back job in Motown.

His competition: Former Georgia standout back D'Andre Swift, the Lions' second-round pick this past April.

Will it put a chip on Johnson's shoulder and get him to play at a higher level than he previously has through his first two years in the league?

ESPN's Mike Clay sees the third-year pro rushing for a career-high in yards (694) and touchdowns (six) on a career-best 172 carries this upcoming season. 

However, Clay projects him to ultimately be out-carried by Swift by 12 attempts (184 to 172).

He also predicts that Swift will finish with more rushing yards (769) and receiving yards (283 to 215) than Johnson.

It all adds up to Swift undoubtedly stealing some of Johnson's thunder in the Lions' backfield.

It may not be a bad thing for Johnson, though, as he's so far failed to stay healthy for a full NFL season.  

He played in just eight games a year ago, and finished with 403 yards and three TDs on 113 carries.

By having the highly-talented Swift as his running mate, Johnson should be able to play with fresher legs and most importantly, stay healthy, at the very least, for the majority of 2020.

And if he does stay off injured reserve, Johnson could be in store for his most productive year as a pro, even if it comes on less carries than he would like.

My personal projection is that he suits up for 13 games and rushes for 722 yards and four scores.

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Comments (3)
No. 1-3
ManeUP13-3
ManeUP13-3

I hope KJ can do as Dalvin Cook has done in Minny. He to, struggled with leg injury his first 2 yrs but then he began to light it up a bit more like was known for coming into the league. To have another badass rb to spread out the punishment is mere gravy. I say they both shine, and it's going to be something truly special to ⌚....tic toc (punny)

Jason Ross Jr.
Jason Ross Jr.

Great work, Vito. As you mentioned, Johnson's inability to stay healthy could play a role here. I'm curious to find out how much of a competition with D'Andre Swift this could become when training camp arrives.

DetroitsFinest1
DetroitsFinest1

Kerryon Johnson is really tough to judge. He needs to show he can stay healthy


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