Report: Lions hosting RB Spencer Ware for visit, Haloti Ngata retires
Allen Park — The Detroit Lions re-signed Zach Zenner, but are still exploring options for additional backfield competition behind starter Kerryon Johnson.
After hosting longtime Rams backup Malcolm Brown late last week, the team is reportedly bringing in Spencer Ware, most recently with the Kansas City Chiefs, for a visit this week, according to ESPN.
Ware, 27, was a sixth-round pick out of LSU in 2013. After a one-year stint with Seattle, where he appeared in just two games, he caught on with the Chiefs prior to the 2015 season.
Ware's best season came in 2017. Filling in for injured starter Jamaal Charles, Ware churned out 921 on 214 carries, while also chipping in 33 receptions for 447 yards.
His role was reduced last season because of the emergence of Kareem Hunt, but Ware managed to average 4.8 yards per carry in limited action. He tallied 122 yards on 29 carries following Hunt's mid-season release.
Johnson is the clear-cut starter for the Lions. As a rookie in 2018, he averaged 5.4 yards per carry in 10 games, before his year was cut short by a knee injury. The team will continue to limit his workload going forward, necessitating the need for capable backfield depth.
Zenner returned from two broken bones in his back to shoulder the load down the stretch for the Lions last season, averaging a career-best 4.8 yards per carry on 55 attempts. His new deal is a one-year contract with a $1.05 million cap hit.
Theo Riddick, the team's top receiving back and pass protector, also remains under contract.
Going out in style
Haloti Ngata has called it a career.
The former Detroit Lions defensive tackle announced his retirement in unique fashion, posting his farewell in photo form from atop Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the tallest mountain in Africa.
In 13 seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, Lions and Philadelphia Eagles, Ngata put together a Hall of Fame resume, which included five All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections, plus a Super Bowl ring.
He was acquired by the Lions in a 2015 trade and served as a stopgap after the Lions lost Ndamukong Suh in free agency that year.
"On behalf of the entire Detroit Lions organization, I want to congratulate Haloti Ngata on his retirement following 13 seasons in the National Football League," Lions general manager Bob Quinn wrote in a statement. "During his three seasons with our team, he exuded professionalism in everything he did. His presence off the field was equally as impactful throughout his career, as evidenced by his selection as the Lions' 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year nomineee. We wish him and his family the very best as he begins this next chapter in life."