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Injuries: Lions place RB Johnson (knee) on IR

The Detroit Lions are shutting down rookie running back Kerryon Johnson.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Lions placed Johnson on injured reserve due to a knee injury. The second-round pick is expected to make a full recovery this offseason. The team later made the news official.

Johnson has missed the past four games after suffering a knee injury in Week 11's win over the Carolina Panthers.

Shutting down the rookie is a prudent move for a 5-9 Lions team that will miss the playoffs.

Johnson was a breath of fresh air in a stagnant Detroit backfield. In Week 3, the dynamic runner snapped the Lions' streak of 70 games without a 100-yard rusher. The Lions offense has gone in the tank without Johnson, but trying to bring him back with two meaningless games left would have been malpractice by the organization.

Johnson ends his rookie season with 641 rushing yards on 118 attempts (5.4 average) with three running scores. The 21-year-old should be the focal point of Detroit's rushing attack in 2019.

Here are other injuries we're monitoring on Wednesday:

  1. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (shoulder) was at Carolina's practice on Wednesday, but was no in pads and did not stretch with the team. With Carolina out of the race for a postseason berth, Newton is expected to sit the remainder of the season with Taylor Heinicke set to start Sunday versus the Falcons, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. The Panthers placed kickerGraham Gano (knee) on injured reserve.
  1. Browns cornerback Denzel Ward (concussion) returned to practice on Wednesday after missing the past two games.

Elsewhere for the Browns, defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi (torn biceps) and center JC Tretter (ankle) are not practicing Wednesday.

  1. Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (quad) will not practice on Wednesday, but coach Pat Shurmur also said Beckham is not going on injured reserve.

New York linebacker Alec Ogletree (illness) will also be held out of practice.

  1. Falcons running back Devonta Freeman's 2018 season is officially done, as Atlanta coach Dan Quinn announced Wednesday that Freeman's knee injury has him headed to injured reserve. Wideout Julio Jones will not practice Wednesday due to a hip injury.

5.Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (groin) might be in jeopardy of missing Green Bay's upcoming game with the Packers. On Wednesday, interim coach Joe Philbin would not commit to Rodgers playing. Rodgers did practice on Wednesday, though, and later talked to the press and said he would play on Sunday. "It's about leadership, how can I stand here and say these games don't matter ... that's not the way I lead."

  1. The Broncos placed cornerback Chris Harris (leg) on injured reserve.
  1. Dolphins running back Frank Gore (foot) is headed to injured reserve, ending his season and perhaps his career. Gore, 35, sustained a sprained foot last week against the Vikings. The NFL's fourth all-time leading rusher (14,478 yards) will see his consecutive games played streak conclude at 126 along with a streak of 122 straight starts.

Miami cornerback Xavien Howard (knee) returned to the practice field on Wednesday, but was a limited participant as was quarterback Ryan Tannehill (shoulder/ankle).

  1. BearsPro Bowl safety Eddie Jackson (ankle) was set to miss practice Wednesday, as was linebacker Aaron Lynch (elbow sprain).
  1. Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams (back) and cornerback Ryan Lewis (concussion protocol) were the only non-participants in practice Wednesday. Coach Sean McDermott said the team would monitor running back LeSean McCoy to see how he was dealing with his hamstring injury.
  1. Chargers receiver Keenan Allen (hip) was limited during Wednesday's practice. Running back Austin Ekeler (neck) did not participate.
  1. Steelers running back James Conner (ankle) was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday.
  1. Bengals receiver Tyler Boyd (knee) did not practice on Wednesday, while running back Joe Mixon (wrist), receiver John Ross (knee) and linebacker Vontaze Burfict (concussion) were limited.
  1. Tight end Eric Ebron (quad) and receiver T.Y. Hilton (ankle) did not participate in Wednesday's practice.
  1. Cowboys guard Zack Martin (knee) was out of practice on Wednesday, while receiver Cole Beasley (foot) and linebacker Sean Lee (hamstring) were limited.
  1. Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (knee) did not practice on Wednesday, while defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (shoulder) and receiver DeSean Jackson (thumb) were limited.
  1. Rams running back Todd Gurley (knee) did not participate at practice.
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