Already losing work to rookie Jordan Howard, starting tailback Jeremy Langford is expected to miss the next four-to-six weeks with an ankle injury sustained in Sunday night's loss to the Dallas Cowboys, ESPN reported Monday.
Coach John Fox had high hopes for Langford this summer, noting that the second-year back had "made a step forward" in preseason action after averaging a league-worst 1.13 yards after contact in his debut season.
As soon as the regular season kicked off, though, Langford was once again haunted by his inability to consistently break or evade tackles.
"Well, I think we blocked up some runs pretty well," Fox said after the Week 1 loss at Houston. "That's not an easy defense to run against, but I think there were some yards there, yards after the carry, I mean, yards after contact."
A bruising north/south runner out of Indiana, Howard racked up 92 yards from scrimmage on 13 touches as the every-down back following Langford's exit Sunday night.
With Langford out of the picture and Ka'Deem Carey nursing a hamstring injury, Howard is in line for a heavy workload versus an injury-depleted Detroit Lions defense in Week 4.
If the fifth-round rookie impresses over the next month, he could remain in the lead-back role all season long, pushing Langford into a pass-catching niche that better suits his skill set as a player who moonlighted at wide receiver during his Michigan State days.