Firmly on the bubble, will Ameer Abdullah make the team in Detroit?

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Three years ago, the Cardinals hoped that running back Ameer Abdullah would slide to them. The Cardinals had to “settle” for David Johnson instead. They may get another chance at Abdullah.

As characterized by an article appearing on the Lions’ official website (and of course that means nothing at all . . . other than it appears on the sliver of the Internet owned and operated by the Detroit Lions), Abdullah is on the roster bubble as training camp approaches.

The top of the depth chart will consist of veteran LeGarrette Blount, rookie second-rounder Kerryon Johnson, and third-down-specialist-plus Theo Riddick. Abdullah will need to win the fourth roster spot (or leapfrog one of the other three) in order to remain.

That makes special teams a key for Abdullah, since any running back buried that deep will need to be able to do other things. And, as noted in the article, Abdullah spent time as the kick returner during offseason workouts.

Of course, that could be part of an effort to suggest to the rest of the league that Abdullah will make the cut from 90 to 53, and that if another team (like the Cardinals or the Bills, who may at some point have a need) is interested, they’ll need to make a trade, not file a waivers claim. (Abdullah is under contract through 2018, at a salary this year of $876,000.)

However it plays out, it’s clear that the Lions have shifted away sharply from the idea that Abdullah will be moving the chains on a regular basis.

“When we get to the physical part of it, obviously teams that have been going against us the last couple of years, it’s a little bit different tackling LeGarrette than it was maybe tackling Ameer in the hole,” running backs coach David Walker has said, as quoted in the article at DetroitLions.com. “He’ll have a chance to be a guy who’ll give us a physical presence in the backfield that maybe we didn’t have as consistently as we’d like last season.”

Abdullah has had three seasons of chances to become that guy. The signing of Blount and the drafting of Johnson underscores the fact that Abdullah hasn’t gotten it done. The only question left is whether he leaves the team before or after the final year of his rookie contract, and whether if he goes before Week One it’s by trade or a release.

14 responses to “Firmly on the bubble, will Ameer Abdullah make the team in Detroit?

  1. The Lions have had good RBs over the last several years. What they haven’t had is a decent scheme for rushing or a very good OL. When/if they get better blocking their RBs will suddenly be good.

  2. He is not good at finding any running room. Its a givin that the O line didn’t provide much room to run, but the other backs always looked better than him when given a chance.

  3. He looked like Barry Sanders his 1st preseason, maybe their giants-esque inability to run block contributed to his lack of production.

    They should be trying him at kr, pr, slot, kick coverage

  4. Packer fan here. He is/was one of the Lions best weapons the last few years. I feel he’s an above average back, who could at least split time on many teams. If he does not make the team, they will be sorry for letting him go.

  5. rukiddingme2014 says:
    July 15, 2018 at 12:00 pm
    He is not good at finding any running room. Its a givin that the O line didn’t provide much room to run, but the other backs always looked better than him when given a chance.
    ————
    We must have been watching different games. The only game where I can think any one looked “better” was Tion Green vs Baltimore. But it helps when the other team is up 30 on you. Abdullah may not be any good at all, but he gets a fresh start with an O-line coach that actually knows how to run run-blocking schemes. Ron Prince was an absolute joke as an Oline coach and it was disgusting to watch him keep his job for so long, Thanks for nothing Caldwell

  6. Ameer is an above average back, period. The O Line never gave him a chance. The coach and scheme he played in favored the passing game. The Lions have had great players just waste away for decades because the force players into schemes not make scheme’s around player strength ie Barry Sanders, Calvin Johnson.

    If he goes to another team like the Jets, Bucs, Or even Green Bay he’ll thrive.

  7. When it’s 4th and 1, the Lions have to pass. That says everything you need to know about Abdullah and Riddick. A fresh start somewhere else would do them both a world of good.

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