The Detroit Lions didn’t select a running back this weekend in the annual NFL draft, and after it was over, general manager Bob Quinn said third-year pro Ameer Abdullah will be the team’s starting running back this fall.
Abdullah missed all but one-and-a-half games in 2016 with a foot injury that required surgery. He won the starting job last season and gained 101 yards on 18 carries before hurting his foot against Tennessee.
“He is,” Quinn said, when asked directly if Abdullah was his starter.
Abdullah was fully cleared to return this past winter and believes he still has the capability to be a premier running back in the league, something he said at the end of the season. Quinn called Abdullah’s injury “a fluke thing,” and said he thinks Theo Riddick will be ready to go as well.
“I feel pretty good about the position,” Quinn said. “There were a couple running backs we looked at in the middle part of the draft but just no one we felt was going to come in and really unseat any of the guys that we have on our roster.
“So we feel good about that spot.”
Both Abdullah and Riddick are going in the 7th round of early MFL10 drafts, and they both represent good values at that point in the draft. Riddick's per game average of 16.2 fantasy points (PPR) was the 8th-highest at his position. Riddick may not see as many carries with Abdullah back, but he should continue to play a big role in the passing game. In the one game that Abdullah played, Riddick turned 12 touches into 108 yards and two touchdowns, so he'll be involved even with Abdullah back in the lead role.