With Ameer Abdullah now healthy, what should the Lions do with their running back?
While we still try to put together what happened last Sunday when the Detroit Lions decided to scratch running back Ameer Abdullah, one thing is for certain going forward: He is now healthy.
On Tuesday, Abdullah told reporters that he thought he was healthy enough to play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but ultimately it was Jim Caldwell’s choice to bench him. “That’s the coach’s call,” Abdullah said. “It’s never in my hands, and if the coaches feel like it’s the best direction, then maybe they know something I don’t.”
Jim Caldwell said clearly on Monday that decision was based on injury.
But Abdullah said he is feeling 100 percent and is ready to go this week against the Chicago Bears. Tuesday’s injury report reveals he’s telling the truth there, as he was listed as a full participant.
So we’ll know the Lions’ true intention on Saturday, since he is clearly healthy enough to play. Today’s Question of the Day is:
Should the Detroit Lions dress Ameer Abdullah vs. the Bears?
My answer: Yes. I think Abdullah should return as the starter on Saturday.
While Abdullah’s season has been a huge disappointment—and Abdullah would be the first to admit it—the Lions run game has been just as bad without him, arguably worse.
Abdullah has averaged 3.4 yards per carry this season, but in the past two weeks without him, the Lions have averaged just 3.1 YPC as a team. In both games, Theo Riddick rushed for less than 3.0 YPC.
My only reservations for returning Abdullah as the starter is taking away snaps from Riddick in the passing game. Last week, Riddick once again proved his value as a receiver, hauling in six catches for 64 yards. The easiest solution there would be to have both Abdullah and Riddick on the field at the same time, but it’s clear after three years the Lions don’t have plans to do that. So it may make sense to give Abdullah and Riddick a 50-50 split on Saturday, with Tion Green receiving a handful of opportunities, as well.