Lions add 'explosive player' in versatile running back J.D. McKissic
Allen Park — Of the hundreds upon hundreds of players who hit the NFL waiver wire this weekend, only one ended up on the Detroit Lions' roster: running back J.D. McKissic.
Lions coach Matt Patricia didn't have much to say about McKissic, saying the team was still going through the process with the addition, but offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell offered some thoughts on the running back he previously coached in Seattle.
"He's a very explosive player," Bevell said. "He's a player that you want to try to get the ball into his hands. And because of the versatility, you can use him in different areas. You can use him as a receiver. You can use him as a running back. We see him as a running back. He had nice carries for us, at least the year I was there in Seattle. Looking forward to adding him to that group and add a really nice piece to that room."
McKissic missed most of the 2018 season with a foot injury, but the previous year, playing under Bevell, the 5-foot-10, 195-pounder carried the ball 46 times and caught another 34 passes for a total of 453 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns.
Asked if he views McKissic as a potential mismatch piece, Bevell said, "You'd like to think of it that way, if you can create them and the defense allows it to happen."
Once he gets up to speed, assuming he sticks in Detroit, you can expect McKissic to see time in the backfield, split out wide and in the slot. Given the Lions only have one true slot receiver in Danny Amendola, Bevell said McKissic could be part of a rotation of guys that can move there to spell the veteran receiver.
But Bevell did make clear, the Lions view McKissic as a running back first and receiver second.
McKissic played sparingly during this preseason, carrying the ball eight times for 20 yards and catching three passes for 11 yards in two games.