The Detroit Lions practiced without two of their top running backs Friday as both D’Andre Swift and Bo Scarbrough sat out for injury reasons.
Swift, the rookie second-round pick out of Georgia, appeared to tweak his left leg early in Thursday’s practice but stayed on the field. Scarbrough, the Lions’ second-leading rusher last season, has practiced sparingly through the first four days of camp.
Lions coach Matt Patricia said before practice that the team is re-evaluating Scarbrough, who gave the Lions a late-season lift last year with some hard-fought rushing yards.
Patricia declined to reveal the nature of Scarbrough’s injury, but indicated the team is trying to manage his workload in advance of their Sept. 13 season opener.
“One thing for us to remember on all of this is that we’re continually trying to build on everybody’s back-to-practice workload, so just trying to be smart with some of those guys, too,” Patricia said. “If there’s general soreness or tightness and things like that, that we need to keep an eye on. Just trying to do right all the way around as far as that’s concerned.”
Scarbrough, who has dealt with a slew of injuries throughout his career, including two torn ACLs and multiple ankle injuries, ran for 377 yards and a touchdown in six games last season after signing as a free agent in early November.
He was expected to compete for a backup job behind Swift and Kerryon Johnson this year.
With Scarbrough out of practice Tuesday and Thursday, and the Lions also managing Johnson’s workload because of a history of knee injuries, veteran Jonathan Williams and second-year back Ty Johnson have seen increased reps early in camp.
Williams, who had a pair of 100-yard rushing games for the Indianapolis Colts last season and signed with the Lions earlier this week, has shined in the opportunities he’s had to carry the ball.
“He’s done a great job,” Patricia said. “He came in, really unbelievable professional. Guy who just dove right into the playbook and really tried to focus into his job. We do have some guys that have played college football with him, so we had a little bit of a background research there as far as the type of guy he is. He’s a great guy, work hard, just wants to go in and do anything he can to help the team. Just kind of was a good fit for us and we wanted to bring him in and take a look. But certainly from a skill set level, he’s a big back, he can get downhill but also has some good quickness. We just thought it would be a good opportunity for us to take a look at him.”
Along with Scarbrough and Swift, wide receiver Victor Bolden did not practice Friday, and wide receiver Marvin Hall left early with trainer.
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