Job Battles: Jackson's Brief Setback
Job Battles: Jackson's Brief Setback

This article is part of our Job Battles series.

Running Backs

Kerryon Johnson vs. Theo Riddick, DET

You'll notice I'm basically declining to address LeGarrette Blount at this point. According to USA Today's Erik Schlitt, Blount played 11 snaps yesterday. Stick a fork in him, etc.

The only remaining question is what the return of Riddick means for Johnson, and specifically with regard to passing situation tasks. I've seen some analysis that Riddick's return harms Johnson's pass-catching upside. I don't think that's especially true, except for maybe in a vacuum. But relative to Johnson's role before Riddick's return from injury, I don't think it's true.

That premise is that Johnson and Riddick are competing in the same arena at this point. The Golden Tate trade means that this is not especially true. Tate, Marvin Jones, and Kenny Golladay played nearly every snap together before that trade, but yesterday receiver TJ Jones only played 51 percent of the snaps. Riddick (in the slot) and the tight end rotation basically made up the difference. Riddick will continue to see plenty of backfield snaps, especially on third-down plays, but Johnson's snap and target share shouldn't worsen and could easily improve despite Riddick's return, because of the Tate trade. Blount's decline subsidizes some of Riddick's role, too. Johnson played 39 snaps yesterday, which is 56 percent of the snaps. Riddick played the exact same number. This will not be a zero-sum equation.

The Lions offensive line fell apart against the Vikings, and they have a few tough spots in the remaining

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mario Puig
Mario is a Senior Writer at RotoWire who primarily writes and projects for the NFL and college football sections.
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