Denver — The Detroit Lions activated running back Kerryon Johnson off injured reserve on Saturday, a day ahead of the team's Week 16 matchup with the Denver Broncos.
Johnson has been practicing the past three weeks and is coming back after requiring surgery for a torn meniscus in October. At the time of the injury, Johnson had been struggling through a sophomore slump, averaging 3.3 yards per carry after posting an average of 5.4 yards per carry as a rookie last season.
Assuming he doesn't get hurt again in the final two games, it will allow him to avoid finishing a second consecutive year on the injured list.
"It would mean a lot to personally, which is why I'd like to play so bad," Johnson said about the possibility of being activated earlier this week. "Just ending on a good note, instead of another bad note like last year. Hopefully, we put together two wins here. To other people, it may not mean much, but to us, a win is a win. Everybody loves to win. It puts everybody in a better mood. It puts me in a better mood, it puts coach in a better mood, which makes everybody happy. That's what we come here to do."
In addition to activating Johnson, the Lions placed starting linebacker Christian Jones on injured reserve with a lingering shoulder injury. Including Johnson, it marks the 10th starter the Lions have placed on injured reserve this year, including eight this month.
The Lions had an open roster spot heading into the day, which Johnson filled. To replace Jones, the team promoted defensive end Jonathan Wynn off the practice squad.
Wynn provides some depth on the edge, insurance if Devon Kennard needs to be scratched from Sunday's lineup. The linebacker is currently listed as questionable with a hamstring injury.