sports The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time  

Ranker NFL
725 votes 239 voters 6.2k views 19 items

Big fan of Detroit football? Then check out this list of Detroit Lions running backs with photos and seasons as starters. It includes every starting running back from throughout Detroit Lions history, including current running backs and past ones. Featuring some of the greatest NFL running backs of all time, the best Lions RBs include Barry Sanders, Billy Sims, Kevin Jones, and James Stewart.

In the 2017-18 NFL season, the current Detroit Lions starting RBs and backup RBs are Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Zach Zenner, and Dwayne Washington. 

Who are the best running backs in Detroit Lions history? Here is every player who has ever held the position of Detroit Lions starting running back.

list ordered by

1
119 11
Barry Sanders is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
Barry Sanders Seasons: 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989

2
64 15
Billy Sims is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
Billy Sims Seasons: 1984, 1983, 1982, 1981, 1980

3
31 9
Mel Farr is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
Mel Farr Seasons: 1970

4
22 5
Dexter Bussey is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
Dexter Bussey Seasons: 1979, 1978, 1976

5
45 26
Reggie Bush is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
Reggie Bush Seasons: 2014, 2013

6
21 9
Kevin Jones is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
Kevin Jones Seasons: 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004

7
39 26
Theo Riddick is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
Theo Riddick Seasons: 2016

8
19 9
James Stewart is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
James Stewart Seasons:  2002, 2001, 2000

9
13 8
Garry James is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
Garry James Seasons: 1988, 1987, 1986

10
16 12
Jahvid Best is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
Jahvid Best Seasons: 2011, 2010

11
15 12
Kevin Smith is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
Kevin Smith Seasons: 2009, 2008

12
26 25
Ameer Abdullah is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
Ameer Abdullah Seasons: 2017, 2015

13
12 10
Steve Owens is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
Steve Owens Seasons: 1973, 1972

14
9 8
Altie Taylor is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
Altie Taylor Seasons: 1975, 1974

15
11 11
Shawn Bryson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
Shawn Bryson Seasons: 2003

16
6 6
Rick Kane is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
Rick Kane Seasons: 1977

17
5 6
Greg Hill is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
Greg Hill Seasons: 1999

18
4 6
Wilbert Montgomery is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
Wilbert Montgomery Seasons: 1985

19
15 19
Mikel Leshoure is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Detroit Lions Running Backs of All Time
Mikel Leshoure Seasons: 2012