Ronnie Brown was shipped to the Detroit Lions just before Tuesday's NFL trade deadline. With Jahvid Best—Detroit's starting running back—likely out for a while after suffering his fourth concussion in two years, Brown could see action early with his new team.
It should take Brown a bit of time to get up to speed with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan's shotgun-heavy offense. However, once he does, he should emerge as Best's primary backup and the team's inside and goal-line back.
For now, the Lions still have Maurice Morris and Keiland Williams. Until Brown is comfortable in the basic aspects of Detroit's system, I expect both of those guys to see the majority of the team's carries. The Lions trust Morris, and he'll likely be the primary ball-carrier this weekend against the Atlanta Falcons.
Still, Brown gives the Lions a reliable, between-the-tackles bruiser. While he's certainly not in his prime, he can be relied upon to at least give the team a dimension that it didn't have until now. While Williams is a big, physical back, he isn't experienced and has never really been given a chance to shine. The Lions obviously felt like the LSU product had a long way to go in his development, so they opted to bring in Brown.
The 29-year-old Auburn product isn't likely to have a huge impact on fantasy football this season, unless Best is put on injured reserve. If that happens, Brown would likely split carries with Morris and could be a candidate to steal several red-zone touchdowns. Other than that, don't expect much out of him.
Brown used to have the ability to impact games in the NFL, as his career 4.3 yards-per-carry average shows. However, those days are past and I have to believe he is nothing more than deep roster insurance for the Lions.