Jahmir Gibbs would be lying if he didn’t enjoy himself on the sidelines. You might have seen him flex his arm in celebration when Craig Reynolds plowed into the end zone for his first career touchdown in the Lions’ win over the Panthers two weeks ago, or when Jameson Williams swooped in for his first touchdown last season. Win of the week over the Bucs.
I was having fun on the sideline,” Gibbs said Friday. “I think teams thought they could stop the run and make us one-dimensional and they’d have a really big advantage, but I think this past game showed you’re going to be what you think you’re going to be. It has to be more balanced than that.”
Of course, Gibbs loved being on the field. And that’s where he’ll be this Sunday when the Lions take on the Ravens in a battle of first-place teams. Gibbs, who has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, is expected to play. And the Lions are expected to lean on him in the absence of David Montgomery, who is sidelined with a rib injury.
“He’s got to take the brunt of it,” Dan Campbell said Friday. “We’ll just have to see where he’s at. I want to say we want to be careful with him, but the reality is, we need him. So we’ll go as far as he can go. Here we are, trying to be as smart as we can, but he’s got to go. . and he’s ready.”
Gibbs echoed that Friday, saying his hamstring started feeling better late last week and was good to go after a week of practice. Of the Lions’ plan to ride him against the Ravens, Gibbs said, “Shows they trust me.
The Lions used the 12th overall pick sparingly as a rusher early in his career, carrying Montgomery. But Gibbs had 17 totes against the Falcons in Detroit’s Week 3 while Montgomery was out with a thigh injury. He can expect a similar workload on Sunday.
Gibbs averaged about 12 carries per game in college. Asked about embracing Belko’s role with Montgomery on the sidelines, he said, “I’ve been like that my whole life, so it’s not really something I’m used to. I’ll be fine. … You don’t want too much. I don’t know how David Picked up 32 (carries against the Packers). It was crazy. I don’t know how he did it. But yeah, I’ll always take 18 over 20.”
Montgomery is more bruised than Gibbs – made to receive and deliver He has also been a good between-the-tackle runner. But the Lions don’t plan to change their ground game that much against the Ravens. They know what works for them, and they stick to it.
“We’re going to keep what we do well and what our O-line does well, our tight end, because we don’t think he’s just something, ‘Hey, you just have to go to the perimeter, he’s not an interior runner. We believe that. No. So we’re keeping the identity of what we do and the core of what we do in the run game.