Former Rams’ RB C.J. Anderson reached agreement on a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions, per source. Chance to produce this season, then hit market again after this season.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 1, 2019
The amount of deal is not known, yet.
Anderson seems to be excited about the signing.
Anderson played a pivotal part in the Rams’ offense in the short time he played in LA, and will undoubtedly be a positive addition to a Detroit running game that finished in the bottom half of the league. The Lions’ leading rusher Kerryon Johnson rushed for just 641 yards last season.
During the 2018 season, the Lions run-game racked up 1,660 yards which was 23rd-most in the league. They also had the 10th-fewest yards-per-game (103.8), seventh-lowest yards-per-carry (4.1) and eighth-fewest rushing touchdowns (11).
The Rams signed Anderson on Dec. 19 and started him in the final two games of the regular season. Through those two games, Anderson compiled 299 yards. He averaged around seven yards-per-carry in that span, scored two rushing touchdowns and recorded back-to-back games of more than 100 rushing yards.
In the divisional playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys, Todd Gurley returned as the starter and Anderson played a complementary role. He still racked up 123 yards and two touchdowns on 23 touches.
Anderson couldn’t have come at a better time for the Rams rushing offense. Their starting back was injured following a Week 14 game against the Eagles and their back-up in Malcolm Brown was out of the year.
Injuries aside, the running-game as a whole struggled with consistency in the second half of the season. Between Week Eight and Week 15, the Rams didn’t record consecutive games of 100 or more rushing yards.
Gurley himself saw fewer touches as time went on. Between Week Eight and Week 14, Gurley only accrued more than 16 touches once twice.
Anderson had three consecutive games where he recorded more than 20 touches (Week 16, Week 17 and the division round of the playoffs).
The signing also ends the will they, won’t they debate when it came to the Rams re-signing Anderson. The Rams already have three running backs (Gurley, Malcolm Brown and John Kelly) signed through 2021, which seemingly made him the odd-man out.
While the dividends of signing Anderson in December far-exceeded expectations, he was added to fill a need for healthy running backs. Brown was already out for the season and Gurley was going to miss time following the Week 14 game against the Eagles.
It sucks to see Anderson leave the team. He added a new facet to the running game which made the offense better as a whole. Anderson made a tremendous impact on the team in a short amount of time.
Too short, if you ask me.
(UPDATED on 4/6/19, 2:13pm ET)
We got the contract terms, and it’s not terribly different than the terms Brown was on originally or the deal he signed after being offered by the Lions: