Detroit Lions sign RB Justin Jackson, lose young WR to early retirement

Detroit Free Press

Already shorthanded in the backfield and planning to lighten top running back D’Andre Swift’s workload, the Detroit Lions added depth at the position Monday, signing Justin Jackson.

Jackson ran for 1,040 yards the past four seasons, making seven starts and appearing in 43 games with the Los Angeles Chargers. He played primarily as a backup to Austin Ekeler with the Chargers last season and was a part-time contributor on special teams.

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The Lions have seven running backs on their training camp roster, but fullback Jason Cabinda is on the physically unable to perform list because of an ankle injury and undrafted rookie Greg Bell has not practiced since suffering hip and back injuries last week.

Lions coach Dan Campbell said he intends to ramp up Swift’s workload this summer, but will be careful not to overuse him before the season.

Jamaal Williams has split first-team reps with Swift through the first five practices of training camp, with Godwin Igwebuike, Craig Reynolds and Jermar Jefferson practicing primarily with the second team.

[ First day in pads, full house of fans provided needed boost in Lions training camp ]

To make room for Jackson, the Lions placed receiver Corey Sutton on the reserve/retired list Monday.

An undrafted rookie from Appalachian State, Sutton is the third young Lion to retire prematurely in the past two months.

Nose tackle John Penisini announced his retirement in mid-June, after sitting out the Lions’ mandatory minicamp, and undrafted rookie cornerback Jermaine Waller retired in early June.

Contact Dave Birkett at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. 

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