Lions might want to get dynamic J.D. McKissic more involved in offense

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
J.D. McKissic

Allen Park — Maybe it's time for the Detroit Lions to find a way to get running back J.D. McKissic more involved in the offense. 

The dual-threat back has continued to flash dynamic playmaking ability throughout his first year in Detroit. A September waiver claim, he's averaging a ridiculous 7.0 yards per carry. Even if you exclude the 44-yard reverse he ran earlier this year — a season-long run for any Lions player, by the way — he would still be averaging 5.0 yards per attempt, easily a team-high. 

Plus, the former college receiver continues to contribute in the passing game, as well. His 26-yard touchdown reception against Oakland was a season-long. His 13 catches are the most of any Detroit running back, despite playing half as many snaps as injured starter Kerryon Johnson and 55 fewer than rookie Ty Johnson.

McKissic is catching a pass once every nine plays he's on the field. 

"J.D. had a great game for us," offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said during a Tuesday conference call. "He’s really a dynamic and explosive player. Thought he carried the ball well in his run opportunities and did a nice job of coming out of the backfield.”

The thing about McKissic is he's never shouldered the load, at any point during his career. In 27 games, he's been on the field more than 35 snaps just once, when he played 50 for the Seahawks two years ago. In that game, he recorded a career-high seven carries and matched a career-high with five receptions. 

With the Lions, McKissic began the season playing second-fiddle to Kerryon Johnson and C.J. Anderson, but due to multiple injuries and roster turnover, he earned the start against Oakland. Still, he saw just 38 percent of the snaps in the contest. 

"We have a number of playmakers on our team, and I think you were able to see the ball spread around from most of those during the game," Bevell said. "Of course, we’re trying to find opportunities for all those guys and, he’s definitely one of them."