Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Ben Johnson: We’ll get Jahmyr Gibbs going as he gets more comfortable

Lions first-round pick Jahmyr Gibbs played only 19 of Detroit’s 70 offensive snaps in the club’s Week 1 victory over Kansas City.

But the running back displayed some of the explosiveness that made Detroit want to draft him at No. 12 overall in the spring. Gibbs rushed for 42 yards on seven carries, including a run that went for 18 yards. And he caught a pair of passes for 18 yards.

Veteran David Montgomery was clearly the Lions’ lead back last week, with 74 yards on 21 carries with a TD. But offensive coordinator Ben Johnson said this week that an increase in snaps and touches could be coming for Gibbs.

“[Q]uite frankly, you don’t know exactly what you’re going to get Week 1 with some of the young players, particularly in that environment,” Johnson said in his Thursday press conference. “And so, yeah, we will get Gibbs going as he gets more comfortable. We always have plays tagged for him going into the game, but we feel really strongly about David as well, so that whole combination, that one-two punch is really good for us.

“We had them both on the field at the same time a little bit last week, we’ll probably continue to do that over the course of the season and we’ll see where Gibbs best suits us each week.”

Johnson added that he’s comfortable with Gibbs as a pass protector in part because “he’s more physical than what you would imagine.”

But generally, Johnson seemed pleased with the way Gibbs performed in his debut.

“I mean he’s special,” Johnson said. “It’s everything that we saw on tape and it’s just good to see it translate over to this level.”