Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was asked about the shift to Peterson as the primary back in the Week 3. Peterson had 22 carries for 75 yards in the win over Arizona. That’s more carries than Swift (6) or Johnson (20) had total snaps.
“It’s not anything that those guys are or aren’t doing,” Bevell said in his press conference. “We’re just trying to, again, accentuate their positives and put them in positions to be successful. You saw [D’Andre] Swift. His plays were a little bit down. We want to keep those up and get him more involved. The one play he catches, he has a nice catch-and-run, looks fast, looks explosive.”
Bevell cited Peterson’s incredible physical condition despite his advanced age (35) for a running back,
“…this guy is a freak of nature now. I don’t know where that wall is or where he’s going to hit it. The guy is always asking for more. Like you said, he is in great shape; he takes care of his body. He does all those little things to set himself up for that success. I don’t know when it’s going to happen, but he wants it. We want him to have it. We’ll keep continuing to go there.”
Bevell did have nothing but positive things to say about Johnson and his performance in pass protection in Arizona.
“Adrian took a little bit more of the running load, but Kerryon (Johnson), really to me, was player of the game. He was phenomenal in his protection pickups, in all the little detail nuances that we needed particularly on Jesse (James’) touchdown. He was a huge part of that play. His protection pickup – I mean there was one where they’re picking in the middle and he picks up basically both linebackers that were coming, has some physical plays there, really strong when we had the ball.”
That appears to leave Swift, a highly-touted second-round rookie, a decided third on the depth chart.