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Kerryon Johnson Named Breakout Star Among NFL Running Backs

"He should be in for a tremendous age-22 season."

July 10, 2019 - 11:35 am

Before an injury cut short his rookie season in Week 11, Kerryon Johnson showed the NFL what he can do. 

Now that he's healthy heading into year two, with an offensive coordinator who wants to build around the run, he has a chance to take the league by storm. 

It's a belief that extends beyond Detroit. When Bleacher Report tabbed "one player at each position in line to explode into stardom" this season, Johnson was the choice among running backs. 

He beat out Cleveland's Nick Chubb and Green Bay's Aaron Jones. (The pool was limited to players without Pro Bowl or All-Pro honors in the past.)

After a relatively quiet start last season, Johnson became the Lions' first 100-yard rusher in nearly five years in a Week 3 win over the Patriots. He did it again three games later in a win over the Dolphins. At the time of his injury, he ranked among the league leaders in yards per carry (5.4). 

Now he stands to become the centerpiece of Detroit's offense under Darrell Bevell. 

No, the Lions won't use Johnson as a bellcow, but he'll be put in a position to thrive. And the lighter workload could ultimately be to his benefit. 

Per Bleacher Report, "Johnson looked special before he suffered a season-ending knee injury in November. He says he's fully recovered from that knee injury and he should be in for a tremendous age-22 season." 

After snapping one Lions rushing drought last year, Johnson was on pace to snap another. He was trending toward becoming the team's first 1,000-yard rusher since the 2013 season. 

If he stays healthy in 2019, he should get there with room to spare.