The Facts: Johnson, the Lions' leading rusher each of the last two seasons, is the favorite to start at running back when the Lions open the regular season in 16 days against the Bears.
Diehards Line: According to Detroit Free Press staffer Dave Birkett, a lingering leg injury that's kept D'Andre Swift off the practice field for more than a week could impact what role the rookie running back has to start the season. Swift missed his seventh straight practice Friday because of an injury he suffered Aug. 20 in the third padded practice of the summer. The Lions had been counting on their second-round pick to share the backfield workload with Johnson, but Swift's injury, combined with the lack of a formal offseason program, has left him in catch-up mode. Meanwhile, the Lions have managed Johnson's workload carefully this summer after he missed time each of the last two seasons with a knee injury, but he's clearly ahead of the rest of the team's backs in the pecking order.