Lions rookie D’Andre Swift staying upbeat despite limited touches

Detroit News

Justin Rogers
| The Detroit News

Given he was drafted at the top of the second round, Detroit Lions fans were hoping for more of an instant impact from rookie running back D’Andre Swift.

But a training-camp injury, combined with the late addition of Adrian Peterson to the roster, has left Swift short on touches through the first quarter of the season. 

Through four games, Swift has tallied 12 carries and 13 targets in the pass game, which he’s netted 166 yards from scrimmage and a pair of touchdowns. 

This isn’t unfamiliar territory for the young running back. In fact, it feels awfully similar to his freshman year at the University of Georgia, where he found himself behind Nick Chubb and Sony Michel on the Bulldogs’ depth chart. 

“It’s pretty much the same situation,” Swift said. “Just got to be consistent throughout practice. Just showing the coaches what I can do on a daily basis. Making sure I know what I’m doing, so whenever my number does get called, there’s really no let off.”

In 15 games that year, Swift recorded fewer than 100 touches. But his efficient production with those opportunities carved the path for a bigger role in future years. As a junior last season, he lead the team with 220 touches and 1,434 yards from scrimmage. 

More: Unheralded James Robinson might cause trouble for Lions’ underwhelming run defense

So while he continues to work toward that bigger role in Detroit’s offense, Swift is soaking in all the knowledge he can from Peterson and  Kerryon Johnson. 

“It’s amazing,” Swift said. “We’re competing every day. All the running backs in the room compete every day. … Like I said, (Peterson) has been like a big-brother figure to me since he came in since he came in here, and I thank him for that.”

And when Swift’s number does get called more often than it is now, he knows he has more to give. 

“Most definitely, yeah,” he said. 

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