The Lions are promoting former New York Jets running back Zonovan “Bam” Knight from the practice squad to the active roster, agent Mie McCarney told MLive.com. Montgomery was hurt in Sunday’s loss, suffering a thigh bruise that knocked him out of the game and is expected to keep him out for a few weeks.
Knight’s promotion could fill an immediate hole in the backfield, but some believe the Lions could look to the trade market for more long-term help.
Lions Looking for Help
As MLive.com noted, Knight was a late addition to Detroit’s practice squad, signing on August 28 after he was waived by the Jets. Knight had 85 carries for 300 yards with one touchdown last season, and will help the Lions fill out their backfield after Montgomery’s injury.
Montgomery had served as lead back for the Lions through the first two games of the season, taking a larger share of carries than rookie Jahmyr Gibbs. Montgomery had 37 rushing attempts compared to 14 for Gibbs, though Gibbs has been more involved in the passing game.
Head coach Dan Campbell told reporters on Monday that the team would split up the carries that would have gone to Montgomery and call on multiple running backs to fill the void.
“I still see it being by committee if D-Mo can’t go, but certainly Gibbs is going to get more opportunities,” Campbell said. “And there again, the more – he got a little bit more, and there are some plays he made and there’s a lot he left out. And some of that is part of being a rookie. He’ll get better from those with the more exposure he gets. And we need him to grow, and he will.”
Lions Could Look for More Help
The Lions may need to rely on others for the immediate future. Pro Football Talk reported that Montgomery expected to miss a couple of weeks, and NFL draft analyst Russell Brown suggested that the Lions could look to add a veteran running back to add more depth to the backfield.
Brown identified Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers as a good candidate. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Rams have held trade talks on Akers, who was a health scratch for the team’s Week 2 loss to the San Francisco 49ers and appears to be falling out of favor with the team.
“Akers was inactive for the game following what Rapoport characterized as a difficult week of practice, leaving him in an uncertain standing with the Rams,” a report from NFL.com’s Nick Shook noted. “Kyren Williams replaced him as the starting running back and will serve in such a role going forward.”
The Lions will have some other holes to fill after Sunday’s costly loss. Defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson suffered a torn pectoral muscle that is believed to be season-ending, and defensive lineman Josh Paschal was placed on injured reserve prior to the game after suffering an ankle injury in practice on September 14.
Nathan Dougherty is a sports reporter covering the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions for Heavy. Previously he wrote for the Rochester Business Journal and served as the assistant editor of athletic trade magazines Coaching Management, Athletic Management and Training & Conditioning. He is based out of Rochester, New York, and loves everything football. More about Nathan Dougherty