Efficiency is key for Lions RBs Jermar Jefferson, Godwin Igwebuike

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Finding serviceable depth at the running back position has been a long-time struggle for the Detroit Lions.

What’s shocking is that this season, it isn’t big-name free agent acquisitions or high-round draft picks that have helped bolster the Lions’ run game. Instead, the team has made the most of backups Jermar Jefferson and Godwin Igwebuike.

Igwebuike was initially signed to a reserve/futures contract in January as a safety, a position that he played throughout college and for several years in the pros. After converting to running back during training camp, Igwebuike found himself having a career revival with moderate success in the preseason with 60 total yards of offense and two touchdowns.

Jefferson was a seventh-round draft pick this year who couldn’t even find his way off of the gameday inactive list for six of the nine games this season. He had a relatively quiet preseason as well, and it didn’t seem like he’d make much of an impact for the Lions.

While their opportunities have been limited so far this season, the two young running backs have surely made the most of their small share of snaps.

Igwebuike has taken just 15 snaps on offense over nine games. Of those 15 snaps, he has gotten the ball on eight of them. He has averaged nearly 15 yards-per-carry, going for 72 yards on five attempts, and has found the endzone once. Igwebuike has also made three receptions on three targets for 40 yards.

As for Jefferson, the rookie has seen the field on offense just 14 times. Of those 14 snaps, he got the ball into his hands nine of those times. Jefferson has earned 47 yards on five carries and has scored twice. He also has caught all four passes that came his way for a total of 23 yards.

While they will likely never surpass starters D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams on the depth chart, both Jefferson and Igwebuike have shown that they can be reliable backups for Detroit. Their ability to make the most of their few snaps has been impressive and hopefully, this will open the door for more opportunities for them in the future.