The Detroit Lions are in a bind in Week 10 following word that Matthew Stafford will not be able to play. He is dealing with a back injury and an MRI on Friday revealed he would not be able to be cleared in time for Sunday kickoff, according to Ian Rapoport. Jeff Driskel will get his sixth career start in place of Stafford.
This is bad news for the Lions pass catchers, but it also creates problems for the team’s running backs. The unit was already downgraded when Kerryon Johnson went on injured reserve, and now the unit is going to face eight man boxes until Driskel proves he can beat that kind of alignment.
Ty Johnson has replaced Johnson as the starting running back following Tra Carson’s own season-ending injury, while J.D. McKissic serves as the passing down back. Paul Perkins gets some work as well, but Johnson and McKissic are the primary options out of the backfield.
Fantasy football analysis: Lions RBs Ty Johnson, J.D. McKissic
Neither running back was a good start before Stafford was ruled out. The move to Driskel only serves to downgrade them. McKissic could potentially see more dump-offs from Driskel, but I don’t see him getting much running room even with receptions out of the backfield. The Bears are going to force Driskel to beat them with passes downfield. It opens the door for Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, and Danny Amendola to get plenty of one-on-one matchups, but Driskel has to show he can take advantage of that for it to matter.
For the time being, bench both running backs if you were planning on either. If you’re shorthanded and desperate, so be it, but if you can find anybody else, make the move.