Lions' D'Andre Swift Out vs. Panthers Because of Concussion

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured Columnist

Detroit Lions running back D'Andre Swift (32) celebrates his one-yard touchdown run in the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Detroit Lions rookie running back D'Andre Swift won't play Sunday against the Carolina Panthers because of a concussion, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Friday. 

He missed practice Thursday, putting his status in doubt, per ESPN's Michael Rothstein.

The Georgia standout has racked up 331 rushing yards and four touchdowns along with 31 receptions for 275 yards and two touchdowns this season.

Detroit selected Swift with the No. 35 overall pick in the 2020 draft after he put up big numbers in his three seasons at Georgia. After rushing for 1,049 yards and 10 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2018, Swift followed that up with 1,218 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground, plus 24 receptions for 216 yards and one score in 2019.

The Lions have struggled mightily to run the ball throughout Matthew Stafford's tenure as their quarterback. They entered 2020 having not had a 1,000-yard rusher in a season since Reggie Bush in 2013. Before that, their last 1,000-yard rusher was Kevin Jones in 2004.

Detroit took Kerryon Johnson in the second round of the 2018 draft hoping he would end the drought, but injuries forced him to miss a total of 14 games across his first two seasons. Swift was supposed to bring an element of speed and explosiveness to complement Johnson's power, provided Johnson could stay healthy.

If Swift misses game action, veteran Adrian Peterson will likely fill in as the No. 1 back, with Johnson seeing an uptick in touches as well.

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As is often the case, even more of the offensive burden will be placed on Stafford's shoulders, as he will be tasked with making plays in the passing game to wide receivers Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola as well as tight end T.J. Hockenson. However, Amendola missed practice and Golladay was limited Wednesday as they battle separate hip problems.

The Lions boast solid running back depth, but they'd be without their home run hitter in the backfield if Swift is forced to miss time.