D’Andre Swift probably won’t top the 33 carries he got last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers anytime soon, but Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell joked Swift could be in for an even bigger workload if the situation warrants Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.
“Fifty?” Campbell said when asked how many carries he is comfortable giving Swift. “No, it was good. It was good for him to get that. I don’t think you typically see or think that way with him, but it was good that he got a load.”
Swift joined the Tennessee Titans’ Derrick Henry as the only NFL running backs to top 30 carries in a game this season when he ran for a career-high 130 yards last week.
Henry, who is built for a heavy workload at 6 feet 3 and 238 pounds, had games of 33 and 35 rushes before he suffered what likely is a season-ending foot injury.
Swift, 5 feet 9 and 211 pounds, tripled his regular workload against the Steelers as the Lions leaned heavily on the ground game in a steady rain and with quarterback Jared Goff playing through an oblique injury.
With backup Jamaal Williams inactive for the second straight week with a thigh injury, the Lions entered the game planning to split the rushing work between Swift and rookie Jermar Jefferson.
Jefferson left with an ankle injury after scoring on a 28-yard run early in the second quarter, and Swift finished the game with sporadic help from third-string back Godwin Igwebuike.
“That wouldn’t be the first thing I would think is he’s going to get 30, 35 carries,” Campbell said. “A lot of that, we thought Jermar was going to help and those guys were going to share the load a little bit. Well, it didn’t work out when Jermar went down, and then Swift’s hot and it’s hard to take out a hot hand.”
Swift said after the game he never had that many carries at any level of football.
In college, he topped 20 carries in a game three times, and before Sunday, his heaviest workload in the NFL was a 16-carry, 81-yard game against Washington last year.
Swift said after the game he was “a little sore,” and he was limited in practice Wednesday by a shoulder injury. But Campbell gave no indication that injury will impact Swift this week.
“Here’s what sometimes gets lost and we got to remember it as a staff, he’s a second-year player that didn’t play very much last year,” Campbell said. “He’s still learning. I mean, he’ll be the first to tell you, there’s runs on that tape where there’s so much meat on the bone that’s left. As good of a (game as he had), he could have had even more than he had and he knows that. But yet the growth that he saw and his vision and being able to read these plays, and then do what he does once he’s able to break a tackle or get into space, that’s all him.”
Williams practiced on a limited basis Wednesday and could return Sunday against the Browns. He has not played since an Oct. 24 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Jefferson (knee/ankle), sixth lineman Matt Nelson (ankle) and defensive end Trey Flowers (knee) did not practice Sunday, while safety Tracy Walker (concussion) and outside linebacker Austin Bryant (shoulder) were limited.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions' D'Andre Swift (shoulder) recovering after 33-carry game