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Camp Spotlight: Running back Kerryon Johnson

Position: Running back

Ht/Wt: 5-11, 211

College: Auburn

Experience: 3rd year

Outlook: There's no denying how talented a runner and receiver Johnson has proven to be over the his first two seasons in the league when on the field. Johnson has joined Barry Sanders as the only players in team history with at least 1,000 rushing yards and a 4.5 average per rush through their first 18 games.

The issue with Johnson is that injuries have forced him to miss 14 games over his first two seasons. He came back from IR last year to play in the last two games, and he should deserve a lot of credit for that. I'm not sure how many players would have done that for a team with just three wins.

It's one of those situations with Johnson where hopefully the injuries are a fluke thing early in his career and now they're behind him, because he is talented and productive when on the field.

The Lions invested a second-round draft pick on Georgia running back D’Andre Swift this offseason and it's expected that Swift and Johnson will share the backfield in a running-back-by-committee approach. It should allow both players an opportunity to stay fresh.

Practice report: Johnson was back to being a full participant in Thursday's practice after getting limited work Tuesday as the coaching staff tries to manage his snaps and be smart about keeping him healthy.

He was really good in one-on-one passing drills against the linebackers early in practice. Johnson came to Detroit in 2018 a much better receiver than maybe even the Lions thought he'd be because he wasn't utilized in the passing game that much at Auburn. Johnson caught 32 passes as a rookie in 2018 in 10 games.

He had a particularly nice rep against linebacker Jamie Collins Sr. in those one-on-ones Thursday, making a nice move and gaining separation on a quick out route.

Johnson took the success he had in the one-on-one drills against the linebackers and applied it to the team portion of practice. He had a couple nice routes and receptions against the defense in two separate team periods.

Johnson did fumble in a team period, however, and it was recovered by the defense. That earned him a run around the field.

Quotable: "Obviously, my goal every year is to play a full season," Johnson said late last year. "Two seasons down, I'm 0-2. If I don't go out there and perform, somebody else might come out and perform and fans will be fans of that guy."

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