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O'HARA'S FINAL THOUGHTS: How Lions are managing Swift's workload

Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift's performance the last two weeks is raising questions that are specific to running backs more than any other position in football.

How much of a good thing is enough? How much is too much?

There's a fine line there somewhere on how to get the most out of a running back without jeopardizing his health, and head coach Dan Campbell isn't sure where it is for Swift.

Swift has been at both ends of the equation in his last two games. He had 33 carries for 130 yards in the Lions' tie with the Steelers two weeks ago. Last week he had 14 carries for 136 yards in a loss to the Browns.

Head coach Dan Campbell was asked about riding Swift more heavily as the Lions prepared for today's game with the Chicago Bears at Ford Field.

"We don't entirely know where we can go with him," Campbell said. "You can do that, but you may not have him for the rest of the season. It's a matter of how his body can handle that type of load.

"What's important is the plays that he is getting, that we are maximizing his potential so we are getting the most bang for the buck out of him."

Swift has played 23 games in his two seasons with the Lions. He missed three games with injuries as a rookie, and he had a groin injury in training camp this year that limited his preparation for the regular season.

Ultimately, that had an impact on Swift's performance, but he has been nothing short of dynamic of late. The goal is to keep him that way, which isn't easy because of the exposure to violent contact on every play.

Playing running back in the NFL has been described as being involved in 25 car crashes a week.

Hitting the brakes at times isn't a bad idea.

Random Thoughts:

QB's friend: Jared Goff, who's trending toward starting after missing last week's game with an oblique injury appreciates what the recent surge in the running game means.

"It's huge," he said. "A quarterback's best friend is the running back when we're rolling like that."

QBI-QB II: Maybe it was a coincidence, and maybe it was meant to make the Bears wonder who might start at quarterback for the Lions, but Goff was first to the podium in Tuesday's media session. Tim Boyle was second.

Bears QB: Andy Dalton is the starter today in place of rookie Justin Fields, who went out of last week's loss to the Ravens with an injury. Dalton threw for 201 yards and two TDs.

Expect Dalton to be as sharp as possible. Veteran quarterbacks stay in the league by keeping ready. It's how Dalton landed with Dallas last year, and with Chicago this year after Dak Prescott's return to Dallas after a season-ending injury in 2020.

Lions-Bears breakdown: The Lions don't seem downhearted from the 16-16 tie with the Steelers two weeks ago and last week's 13-10 loss to the Browns. They shouldn't be. Their best chance to win a game is to play as hard as they can. The Bears have been in turmoil since the start of training camp. It seems to have taken a toll. The point spread still favors the Bears, but it's down a half tick. Time for the passing game to join the party.

Pick: Lions 27, Bears 16.

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