Former Detroit Lions running back Kerryon Johnson has apparently blamed ex-Detroit coach Matt Patricia for his short-lived NFL career.
Johnson’s playing career was plagued with injuries, and he seems to claim that playing under Matt Patricia caused his career to end prematurely.
Because playing for a military general left me down 2 knees and a neck https://t.co/FKNk6PweMp
— Kerryon Johnson (@AyeyoKEJO) March 14, 2023
Johnson was drafted in the second round of the 2018 draft and appeared in 34 games for the Lions, rushing for 1,225 yards and scoring eight touchdowns. However, he suffered multiple injuries during his time with the team, including a left knee sprain in his rookie season and knee surgery in 2019.
In 2020, Johnson played all 16 games but was used mainly as a pass-blocker and on third down, seeing only 52 total carries for 181 yards and two touchdowns during his final season with the Lions.
Johnson was waived by the Lions in May 2021, and he spent time on the Eagles’ practice squad before being released in 2022 after a second stint with the team.
On Tuesday, Johnson took to social media to explain why he has not returned to the football field. He wrote, “Because playing for a military general left me down 2 knees and a neck,” seemingly referring to Patricia.
Johnson’s comments have raised eyebrows and sparked controversy, with some fans and analysts questioning his claims. However, Johnson is not the first former Lions player to criticize Patricia’s coaching style.
In 2019, cornerback Darius Slay said that he did not like Patricia’s “New England Way” of coaching, and in 2020, safety Quandre Diggs was traded to the Seattle Seahawks after publicly questioning Patricia’s decision-making.
Diggs also recently made comments on social media about Patricia.
As long as Gannon respects his players and not be an A Hole he’ll be better! 🤷🏾 https://t.co/AzAwrezxVV
— Nino (@qdiggs6) February 17, 2023
Patricia joined the Lions in 2018 after serving as the defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots. He was fired by the Lions in November 2020 after a disappointing 13-29-1 record.
While some fans and analysts have defended Patricia’s coaching approach, others have questioned whether he prioritized player health and well-being. Johnson’s experience highlights the potential issues with coaching in the NFL, and serves as a reminder that coaches should prioritize player safety and well-being in addition to on-field performance.
It is important to note that the NFL has taken steps in recent years to improve player safety, including implementing new rules and protocols to reduce the risk of concussions and other injuries.
However, Johnson’s comments suggest that more can be done to ensure that coaches prioritize player health and well-being.
Johnson’s career may have been cut short due to injuries, but his candid remarks about his former coach may lead to important discussions and changes in the NFL. As the league continues to evolve and adapt, it is crucial that player safety remains a top priority for coaches and teams alike.