Lions activate RB Kerryon Johnson (knee) from injured reserve

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Detroit Lions have activated running back Kerryon Johnson from injured reserve eight weeks after he tore the meniscus in his right knee during a loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Johnson, a second-round pick for Detroit in 2018 out of Auburn, missed the second half of last season with a left knee injury before hurting his right knee this year. Wanting to finish a season is at least part of why Johnson has been pushing to come back.

This even though the Lions, at 3-10-1, are out of the playoff picture and assured of a losing record for the second straight year.

"For me, as stupid as some people may see it, you know, for me, I like to play, man," Johnson said Dec. 13. "I did all this work in the offseason, did all this work in the summer and then I didn't do it to play five games. Obviously my goal every year is to play a full season. Two seasons down, I'm 0-for-2.

"But getting the seven or six (games), whatever it might be, is better than where I'm at right now."

Johnson said earlier this week that he was hoping to be activated, but even if he does play against the Denver Broncos, he likely wouldn't see a full workload as he has had limited contact over the past two months.

"Just try to be smart, probably a better way to put it," Lions coach Matt Patricia said Friday. "From that standpoint of just being very aware, but certainly when you get into the game, some things change from that aspect of it and you see how it goes. But again, he hasn't played football in a while, so that's definitely a factor."

Johnson has 92 carries for 308 yards and two touchdowns this season along with nine catches for 126 yards and a touchdown. In his place, the Lions have used a plethora of backs, including five starters in Ty Johnson, Bo Scarbrough, J.D. McKissic, Tra Carson and Wes Hills.

Scarbrough has been the most productive of those backs, gaining 301 yards on 72 carries, averaging 4.2 yards per rush.

Now, with two weeks left, the Lions' lead back is back.