Detroit Lions running back D'Andre Swift got off to a smashing start in 2022, generating 262 scrimmage yards and two TDs in the first two weeks of the season. But, as has been the case early on in Swift's career, injuries got in the way.
The back has battled ankle and shoulder injuries this season, which shut him down for three games. Since his return, Swift hasn't had the same workload. In Sunday's win over Green Bay, the back played just 10 offensive snaps.
"I think he got pissed off a little bit," offensive coordinator Ben Johnson said Thursday. "He caught that third down and was just a little bit short and we took him out. But that's good, that's good. That means he's going the right direction for us."
During the offseason, Lions running backs coach Duce Staley challenged Swift to play through minor injuries. But upon the back's return to the offense in Week 8, coach Dan Campbell acknowledged it might have been too much too fast, hence the 10 snaps in Week 9.
With Swift playing through injuries, Jamaal Williams has taken over the featured role and carried the Lions' run game. But Detroit is much more explosive with Swift on the field. They need that homerun threat to open the rest of the offense.
Johnson made no promises that Swift's snaps would increase Sunday against the Chicago Bears, who rank 30th in the NFL against the run.
"It's a balance right now for him because, once again, he hasn't felt 100%, and that's been a big part of it is when he's feeling good, and it's going to show up on Sunday in a positive way for us," Johnson said. "So, we'll see. We'll see as the week goes on in practice, we'll see on Sunday as we get into the game just how much or how little we use him."