Abdullah 'better player' than any RB Lions could sign

The Detroit Lions' running back corps is the same as the one that ended the 2016 season.

Despite being linked to veteran LeGarrette Blount, who signed in Philadelphia on Wednesday, and connected to possibly adding a rookie in the draft, the Lions stood pat with their running back depth chart.

The Lions are set to enter the 2017 season with Ameer Abdullah -- who missed all but two games last year -- as the lead runner, followed by scat back Theo Riddick, with Zach Zenner and Dwayne Washington as low-upside between-the-tackles backups.

Abdullah said the offseason discussions about adding a back didn't threaten his status as the alpha.

"It doesn't bother me to talk about that stuff, but at the same time, I don't really care what really happened, because I feel like I'm a better player than whoever they were going to bring in," Abdullah said, via the Detroit News. "It didn't matter to me. That's just me being a player and a competitor.

"I wasn't really counting on [the team not adding someone], I was counting on myself to do the things that I needed to do to be healthy so when the time came to compete, with whoever it was."

The lack of additions to the group was a resounding vote of confidence in Abdullah from the team's brass. General manager Bob Quinn wasn't in charge when Abdullah was selected in the second round in 2015, giving that vote of confidence deeper meaning. It would have made perfect sense for Quinn to bring in his own guys to supersede an injured player who has earned fewer than 700 total rushing yards in two seasons.

Abdullah owns the shiftiness in tight spaces, willingness to run between the tackles and pass-catching ability to be an every-down back in the Lions offense, if he can stay healthy. The tandem of Abdullah and Riddick flashed potential to discombobulate defenses in their brief time together.

The lack of moves at the running back position tell us the Lions believe Abdullah's injuries are in the past. Behind a revamped line, the offense could become more balanced in 2017. If, however, injuries strike again, one of the worst rushing offenses last season will struggle again, putting Matthew Stafford in more tough spots.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content