On Monday, the Detroit Lions and C.J. Anderson agreed to a one-year contract for the 2019 season. A few months into the 2018 season, Anderson was sitting on the couch waiting for his phone to ring. Now, the veteran running back should provide a lift for the Lions in a full 16 games.
More importantly, Anderson vows to come into training camp in much better shape than the last time we saw him on the field. Anderson played in nine games for the Carolina Panthers in 2018. Yet, he only earned 24 rushing attempts and 1 start, while Christian McCaffrey took the reigns as the No. 1 running back. Despite his limited opportunities, Anderson averaged 4.3 yards per carry with the Panthers.
Yet and still, Anderson spent roughly five weeks hoping for another shot in the NFL. Once the Los Angeles Rams needed to fill a major void in the backfield, Anderson came on to revive an offense that seemed to be floundering, especially in the loss to the Chicago Bears.
It may be overblown to say C.J. Anderson saved the Los Angeles Rams last season. However, the free agent running back stabilized a Super Bowl contending backfield towards the end of the regular season. He also helped solidify a first-round bye to give Todd Gurley and extra week of rest.
Anderson started the final two games of the regular season. He gained 299 yards on 43 rushing attempts and scored 2 touchdowns. Anderson also gained 189 yards on 46 carries in the postseason. He scored two postseason touchdowns while helping the Rams reach the Super Bowl.
Rookie Kerryon Johnson led the Lions with 641 yards on 5.4 yards per carry last season. Therefore, both players should be part of a nice 1-2 punch in the backfield. The Lions finished (6-10) in the NFC North.