If the Detroit Lions are interested in adding a premier running back to their roster this season, it could be former Los Angeles Charger Melvin Gordon III.Despite the fact 32-year old Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is coming off an injury-plagued season in which he was limited to just eight games in 2019, the running back position should be a bigger concern in the Motor City. If the Lions want to extend Stafford’s career, successfully running the football will be paramount.This is something the Lions have been rarely able to do during Stafford 11-year tenure in Motown. And the best hope of bringing a consistent rushing attack to Detroit, third-year running back Kerryon Johnson, can’t seem to stay healthy.During his first two seasons in the NFL, Johnson has missed a total of 14 games out of a possible 32 after suffering two back-to-back knee injuries. The good news is the 22-year old running back was able to battle back onto the field last year, playing in the Lions’ final two games of the season.Despite Johnson’s return and the emergence of bruiser back Bo Scarbrough, who racked up 377yards and a touchdown while averaging 4.2 yards per carry as a midseason addition, the Lions should not rely on either to carry the load in Detroit. The hope is their pairing will be enough  to provide the Lions with a reliable rushing threat.But the fact is, both running backs have much to prove. And as Johnson’s durability is a major concern, it would be hard to blame the Lions for not considering an addition at the position either via the upcoming draft or free agency that could provide some stability.And if Detroit wants a running back with experience being a workhorse, a proven track record of success in the league, and one that still hasn’t hit his prime, free agency could provide a solution. With a projected contract of four years, $28 million and $15 million guaranteed, Pro Football Focus writer Anthony Treash believes Detroit is the ideal landing spot for free agent running back Melvin Gordon.“Melvin Gordon III killed his value by holding out for a new contract and won’t fetch many bones on the open market because of it … Someone will end up paying him, though, and Detroit seems to be a prime candidate to do that. They had a top-10 run-blocking unit but failed to surpass the 25th percentile in team rushing grade as they cycled through multiple backs all season long.”The real question is could the Lions use Gordon? Turning 27-years old in April, he is a mere season removed from posting a Pro Bowl performance, racking up 885 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging a whopping 5.1 yards per carry. The five-year veteran also had 50 catches for 490 yards and four more scores.The 15th overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, Gordon had his first 1,000-yard rushing season two years later recording 1,105 rushing yards and scoring a combined 12 touchdowns for the Los Angeles Chargers in 2017. Next: The Detroit Lions top 10 plays of the past decade Last year was a down season for Gordon. In attempt to secure a longterm contract with the Chargers (a gamble that didn’t pay off), he held out all offseason and returned just before Week Four of the 2019 regular season.Yet, Melvin Gordon still posted 612 rushing yards and nine combined touchdowns in 11 starts. Considering the fact Kerryon Johnson has been only able to record a total of 1,044 rushing yards and eight total scores in two seasons with the Detroit Lions, perhaps the Motor City would be wise to invest in a proven playmaker like Gordon this year.



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