Jahmyr Gibbs injury history isn’t much concern for the Lions
There was a notable non-participant in the Detroit Lions rookie minicamp this weekend. Top draft pick Jahmyr Gibbs is sitting out the inaugural session after tweaking an ankle.
Gibbs remains in Allen Park, even giving a media conference after Saturday’s session at the team’s training facility. He won’t be taking part in drills or flashing the impressive receiving skills that helped make the Lions choose him with the No. 12 overall pick of the 2023 NFL draft, however.
Detroit has a rather inglorious history of prominently drafted running backs and injuries. One of the reasons Gibbs is in Detroit is because two recent second-rounders, D’Andre Swift (2020) and Kerryon Johnson (2018) proved unable to reliably stay on the field with injury concerns that dated back to their SEC college days.
The Lions shouldn’t worry so much about Gibbs and his injury history.
Gibbs stayed largely healthy in college. In his final season at Alabama, Gibbs sprained his ankle in the Crimson Tide’s win over Ole Miss in November. He sat out the next game, Alabama’s version of the annual SEC nonconference cupcake walk against Austin Peay. He played the next week, rushing 17 times for 76 yards in the rivalry game win over Auburn.
Before transferring to Alabama, Gibbs spent two seasons at Georgia Tech. He missed the final two games of his first year, separating a shoulder in the Yellowjackets’ win over Duke. It’s the only documented injury or missed time from his two seasons in Atlanta.
His lighter workload in college is an asset. Gibbs carried the ball just 383 times in his three college seasons, a lower volume that means he’s taken fewer hits. By way of 2023 draft comparison, Bijan Robinson carried the ball 156 more times–effectively a full season of work while playing the same number (31) of games.
Gibbs noted on Saturday, “I’m straight.” Every indication is the Lions held him out of the low-intensity workout to err on the side of caution.