Jermar Jefferson is the only Lions’ 2021 draft pick who has not played this season, but could he make his debut on Sunday?
The Detroit Lions have two capable running backs in D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams. Through four games, no other running back has gotten an offensive touch this season. Rookie Jermar Jefferson has been the odd-man out, and the only Lions’ 2021 draft pick who has yet to play in a game this season.
Jefferson was the Lions’ final pick in April’s draft, No. 257 overall out of Oregon State. Per Tim Twentyman of the team’s website, when asked about Jefferson last week running backs coach Duce Staley liked that his rookie pupil was mad and disappointed about not playing.
Head coach Dan Campbell was asked about Jefferson this week, within the scope of which young players should see more playing time.
“Look, we’d love to find a way to get (Jermar) Jefferson into the game,” Campbell said. “We think he’s a kid that, man, you’d love to get him some real game-time experience. The hard thing right now is getting into the game because special teams is where he’s got to be able to help us first and he’s not quite there.”
Will Jermar Jefferson make his Lions’ debut on Sunday?
In the first four games, according to Lions Wire, Godwin Igewebuike has been the Lions’ No. 3 running back behind Swift and Williams. He, as previously noted, not seen an offensive touch but he has registered 109 kickoff return yards while being a core special teamer.
Jefferson had a solid run in the preseason, with 72 yards on 18 carries in three games. But his being inactive on game days to this point has come down to not being able to contribute on special teams, as backup running backs have to be able to do. With Swift and Williams offering what they do in the passing game Jefferson’s lack of experience and acumen there has also hurt him.
For Sunday against the Vikings, the odds still seem stacked against Jefferson making his regular season debut. But beyond some key players who are listed as questionable, the announcement of inactives for the game will be worth watching to see if Jefferson happens to be active.