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Kerryon Johnson wants to play in Weeks 16 and 17

Lions running back Kerryon Johnson is pushing to get back on the field in Week 16. We break down the fantasy football implications.

Detroit Lions running back Kerryon Johnson runs the ball against Minnesota Vikings defensive back Anthony Harris during the first quarter at Ford Field. Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions running back Kerryon Johnson returned to practice last week from injured reserve, and is pushing to get off IR for Week 16, according to beat writer Dave Birkett. The Lions have been eliminated from playoff contention, but Johnson still wants to get back on the field.

Johnson told the media he is feeling good, and he pointed to a long-term reason to get back in action before the end of the regular season.

“I can go in the offseason and be like, ‘I can count on my knee,’ so I can start training extra hard,” Johnson said. “I don’t have to worry about, ‘Hey, do I still need to be doing a whole bunch of treatment? Do I need to be taking it easy at the beginning?’ That kind of thing.”

Fantasy football analysis: Lions RB Kerryon Johnson

This certainly makes next week’s fantasy football championship week a little more interesting. If Johnson returns, he would either move back firmly into the starting lineup, or he might split carries with some combination of Bo Scarbrough, Ty Johnson, and J.D. McKissic.

If Johnson actually did get activated for Week 16, he would generally not be worth starting given the uncertainty around his role in his first game back. However, if you make it to your championship but are decimated at the running back position, it would give you something to think about. And if you have Bo Scarbrough as a starter, you’d be in a difficult position as well. The entire backfield would be worth avoiding in most situations.