Fresh off a much-needed bye week, Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson is rejuvenated in his approach to his unit. Getting running back David Montgomery healthy presents him with some intriguing possibilities now that rookie RB Jahmyr Gibbs has proven he can thrive, too.
The two haven’t been healthy at the same time since Week 4, when Montgomery thrashed the Packers for 121 yards. Gibbs posted 152 on the ground against the Raiders with Montgomery out in Detroit’s last game.
Gibbs missed time with a hamstring injury, while Montgomery has battled a thigh bruise and a recent rib injury. Both are ready to roll in Week 10, barring any late-week setbacks in practice.
It’s a happy issue for Johnson to try and solve. In his press conference prior to Thursday’s practice, Johnson posited the idea of playing Montgomery and Gibbs in the backfield together.
“It’s always a fun exercise to do and certainly do it at the end of the season, the bye week’s another good time to do it, but you kind of look through your roster, the guys that are available to you and you kind of – you might rank them,” Johnson explained. “You say, ‘Hey, these are our top 11 guys that we really feel good about on offense,’ and usually you want to get those 11 guys out on the field together as much as possible and I think both those guys are within those top 11 players that we have on offense. So, yeah, there’s a strong argument to get them both out there together more often.”
Johnson admitted he hasn’t yet figured out exactly how the workload will be divided now that both are finally healthy together.
“To be determined,” Johnson said when asked about it. “They know the entire gameplan in and out, so some might be by series, some might be play-specific, but both those guys can handle a lot.”
We’ll get a first look at the workload sharing on Sunday when the Lions head to Los Angeles to face the 4-4 Chargers.