Detroit Lions Bolster Backfield with Jets RB Zonovan “Bam” Knight


With the season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs on the horizon, the Detroit Lions made a strategic move to improve their running back depth. On Wednesday, the Lions completed the signing of Zonovan “Bam” Knight to their practice squad, according to his agent Mike McCartney.

Jets Tenure Cut Short

The 22-year-old Knight was waived by the New York Jets earlier this week. After going undrafted out of North Carolina State in 2022, Knight signed a rookie contract with the Jets. Although initially released during the preseason, he was later re-signed to the Jets’ practice squad and made his way to the active roster in October.

Crowded Competition

Knight found himself the odd man out in the Jets’ running back room following key additions. The signing of Dalvin Cook and the return of Breece Hall from injury left him expendable. The Jets opted to keep Dalvin Cook, Breece Hall, Michael Carter, and Israel Abanikanda on their 53-man roster.

What Knight Brings to Detroit

During his 2022 stint with the Jets, Knight appeared in seven games, rushing for 300 yards on 85 carries and catching 13 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown. Notably, Knight stepped up after Breece Hall’s injury, starting four games and racking up a career-high 90 yards in a Week 12 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Knight will join the Lions practice squad, but remains the only other running back on the roster behind Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery.

Fun facts: Zonovan Knight and Lions DT Alim McNeill were teammates at NC State. Additionally, Knight, McNeill, DE Aidan Hutchinson and TE Shane Zylstra are all represented by VaynerSports.

Recent Practice Squad Signings

The Detroit Lions also bolstered their practice squad with nine other players, all of whom participated in the team’s training camp or offseason. Here’s the rundown:

  • DB Chase Lucas
  • WR Maurice Alexander
  • Dylan Drummond
  • K Michael Badgley
  • OL Kayode Awosika
  • OL Connor Galvin
  • DB Brandon Joseph
  • LB Trevor Nowaske
  • DT Chris Smith
  • OT Max Pircher (International practice squad exemption)

Final Thoughts

As the Detroit Lions prepare for their upcoming matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, adding Knight offers more than just insurance; it brings a proven young talent into the fold. Knight’s ability to both rush and catch out of the backfield could offer the Lions valuable depth as they navigate the long NFL season ahead.


For more from our Detroit Lions beat writer, Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21


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Original Photo Credit: © Ed Mulholland – USA TODAY Sports