Abdullah will miss at least the next eight games. The new IR rule allows each NFL team to take one player off injured reserved after eight weeks. Unlike previous years, the designation doesn't have to be established when the player goes on IR. The Lions can make a determination based on Abdullah's recovery timeline.
Coach Jim Caldwell added Wednesday that "we'll see" if Abdullah can return this season.
With Abdullah on the shelf, the Lions will turn to Theo Riddick as the starter in the short term. Riddick is the NFL's premier pass-catching running back, but not a player who is going to churn up yards between the tackles. His usage on running plays might increase slightly in the coming games, but giving a back like Riddick a ton of carries is going to land him on the injured list, too.
The door now opens for rookie Dwayne Washington to take on a much bigger role. The 6-foot-1, 223-pound back impressed in the preseason. He was already tabbed as the Lions' short-yardage and goal line back. He should get more carries between the 20s with Abdullah gone (everyone rush to your fantasy football waiver wire!!!). Zach Zenner also likely will see his first action of the regular season after two healthy scratches.
The Abdullah-Riddick combination looked unstoppable in Week 1. Now Jim Bob Cooter will have to adjust his offense to compensate for half that tandem missing at least half the season.