As Cook rests, Vikings get long look at backup running backs
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — Mike Zimmer knows the potential and importance of running back Dalvin Cook to the Minnesota Vikings, so the coach is taking the cautious approach to Cook's workload during the...
Vikings re-sign RB Abdullah, for depth behind Cook
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have re-signed running back Ameer Abdullah to a one-year contract, solidifying a complement to Dalvin Cook after the departure of Latavius Murray via free...
Free Agency-Vikings Capsule
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: LB Anthony Barr, DT Sheldon Richardson, RB Latavius Murray, CB/PR Marcus Sherels, K Dan Bailey, DT Tom Johnson, G Tom Compton, G Nick Easton, WR Aldrick Robinson, QB...
Vikings claim Abdullah off waivers from Detroit
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have claimed running back Ameer Abdullah off waivers from the Detroit Lions.
The Vikings announced the move Wednesday.
Abdullah was drafted by the Lions in the second round in 2015, but they weren't using him much this year. He has 1,251 yards rushing along with 57 receptions in his career.
Lions cut Ameer Abdullah, sign Zach Zenner, Bruce Ellington
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions have released running back Ameer Abdullah, cutting ties with their seldom-used, second-round pick from the 2015 draft.
Detroit also signed running back Zach Zenner and receiver Bruce Ellington on Tuesday.
Abdullah had one carry, two catches and returned four kickoffs in three games this year. Abdullah had 1,251 yards rushing and six touchdowns along with had 57 receptions for 420 yards in his career.
Huskers RB Devine Ozigbo finding stride in quest for 1,000
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Its goal of a winning season long gone, Nebraska is shifting some attention to Devine Ozigbo and a couple of his teammates' pursuits of individual milestones.
Ozigbo needs 204 yards over the final three games to become the Cornhuskers' first 1,000-yard rusher since Ameer Abdullah in 2014. Since 1971, the Huskers have never gone four straight years without a player making it to 1,000.
Abdullah inactive for Lions; Jets without Maye, Kearse
DETROIT (AP) — Lions running back Ameer Abdullah is inactive for Detroit's game Monday night against the New York Jets.
The Jets are without safety Marcus Maye (foot) and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (abdomen), both of whom had been doubtful. New York linebacker Josh Martin was ruled out previously because of a concussion.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions have desperately tried to improve what has been a weakness, signing and drafting players to improve their running game.
Detroit ranked last in the NFL last season in rushing offense and has been among the league's worst on the ground offensively in recent seasons.
Lions general manager Bob Quinn has made it a priority to fix the problem.
Allen Park — Over the next several days, leading up to the NFL Draft, we'll take a position-by-position look at the Detroit Lions' roster situation and evaluate how the team might address these positions during the event. Today: Running back
■ Current roster: Ameer Abdullah, LeGarrette Blount, Theo Riddick, Zach Zenner, Dwayne Washington, Tion Green
Orlando, Fla. – The rave reviews continue to come in for LeGarrette Blount, the Detroit Lions' newest running back. But the team's brass, namely general manager Bob Quinn, isn't closing the door on continued contributions from last year's starter, Ameer Abdullah.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions added depth in the backfield, signing LeGarrette Blount and re-signing Zach Zenner.
Detroit signed both players Friday to compete with Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick for carries this year.
This is the second in a series looking at positional needs for the Detroit Lions in free agency. Teams can begin negotiating with free agents on March 12. The signing period opens March 14 at 4 p.m.
Allen Park — Maybe we should start referring to the Lions' anemic ground game as the curse of Barry Sanders. Following the Hall of Famer's sudden retirement in 1999, the team has consistently ranked near the bottom of the league in rushing.
Indianapolis — The Lions got their first look at this year's deep draft class of running backs at Wednesday's official weigh-in at the NFL Combine ahead of Thursday's on-field workouts.
"It's a good-looking crew" Lions GM Bob Quinn said.
But Quinn was busy defending the presumptive No. 1 back on his current roster as well, bristling at a question about whether he still viewed Ameer Abdullah as a "feature back" after he rushed for 552 yards and just 3.3 yards per carry last season.
The Detroit Lions have been no better than 28th in the NFL the past four years in rushing yards, finishing dead last twice, including last season.
The way Mel Kiper Jr. sees it, help could be on the way in the NFL draft.
The ESPN draft expert has the Lions selecting LSU running back Derrius Guice at No. 20 in his latest mock draft (pay site), revealed Tuesday. The 5-foot-11, 218-pound Guice rushed for 1,251 yards (5.3 yards a carry) and 11 touchdowns last season for the Tigers.
The Detroit Lions' running game has been a weak spot throughout former head coach Jim Caldwell's tenure, hitting rock bottom this season.
Never finishing higher than 28th in the league in rushing, the Lions finished last for the second time in Caldwell's four seasons in 2017.
Justin Rogers’ Lions grades: Stafford, receivers rise to fore in season finale
Detroit — Justin Rogers grades the Detroit Lions' performance in Sunday's 35-11 win over Green Bay Packers.
Matthew Stafford misfired on a couple throws to Eric Ebron, but was otherwise on point. Stafford showed good touch on a pair of deep balls to Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay, and also connected with Golden Tate wide open in space out of play-action, resulting in a 71-yard score.
Detroit — Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter showcased some creative play-calling in the closing minutes of a 35-11 victory over the Green Bay Packers.
Attempting a 2-point conversion following the team's final touchdown, Cooter dialed up a play that saw quarterback Matthew Stafford as the receiving target on the play.
- Post-BulletinFirst impression: Vikings deep at running backAugust 12, 2019
- Star TribuneNewly acquired Ameer Abdullah looking for a fresh start with the VikingsNovember 13, 2018
- Star TribuneVikings claim Ameer Abdullah off waivers from LionsNovember 8, 2018
- Beatrice Daily SunLions cut former Husker AbdullahNovember 7, 2018
Detroit — Justin Rogers grades the Detroit Lions' performance in Saturday's 20-10 victory over the Chicago Bears:
Matthew Stafford was sharp, completing better than 75 percent of his passes, while showing elusiveness to extend plays on more than one occasion. He missed one key throw, a would-be touchdown to Eric Ebron on a drive on which the Lions settled for a field goal, but was otherwise efficient, not turning the ball over. Grade: A
Lions offensive guard T.J. Lang to start vs. Bears
Detroit – The Lions announced they would be down two starting offensive lineman earlier in the week, but at least it's not three. Guard T.J. Lang, who had been listed as questionable with a foot injury, is active and will start against the Chicago Bears.
Defensive end Ziggy Ansah (ankle), who was the other starter listed as questionable, is also active.
Allen Park — It's unclear how big Ameer Abdullah's role will be down the stretch of Lions' season, but one thing is for certain: They are no longer willing to definitively label him their starting running back.
Tampa, Fla. — Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, who entered the day questionable with a hand injury, will make his 109th consecutive start on Sunday against the Buccaneers.
Stafford practiced on a limited basis throughout the week after having his hand accidentally stepped on by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs last Sunday.
Lions’ Stafford questionable for Bucs because of ailing hand
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford is questionable for Sunday's game at Tampa Bay because of his injured throwing hand. He has not missed a start since the 2010 season.
According to the team's injury report, Stafford was limited at practice Friday. His right hand was stepped on during last week's loss at Baltimore.
Allen Park — The Lions offense line is hurting. The team was down two starters, while a third, plus a top backup, were limited during Wednesday's practice.
Right tackle Rick Wagner (ankle) and guard T.J. Lang (foot), sat out the session. Center Travis Swanson (knee) and backup tackle Corey Robinson (foot) weren't able to fully participate.
Baltimore — The Detroit Lions will be without starting running back Ameer Abdullah against the Baltimore Ravens. He had been listed as questionable for the game, with a neck injury, on Friday.
Abdullah is the team's leading rusher with 505 yards on 150 carries. Theo Riddick is expected to take over the bulk of the workload. He's been successful since the team's bye, averaging 4.5 yards per carry the past five games.
Swanson, Agnew ruled out for Detroit against Baltimore
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Detroit Lions center Travis Swanson has been ruled out of Sunday's game at Baltimore.
Swanson left last week's loss to Minnesota with a knee injury. Neither he nor punt returner Jamal Agnew have been practicing. Agnew is also out this weekend with a knee injury.
Allen Park — The Detroit Lions got some positive news in their final practice in preparation for Sunday's game against the Ravens with the returns of guard T.J. Lang (foot) and running back Ameer Abdullah (neck) to the field.
Center Travis Swanson (knee) and return man Jamal Agnew (knee) remained sidelined, completing their weeklong absence.
Many owners with playoff berths on the line in Week 13 may find themselves looking at this list and wondering, am I really going to play recent waiver claims like Samaje Perine and Dion Lewis over early-round investments such as DeMarco Murray and Lamar Miller?
Then again, if owners are even on the cusp of playoff contention — never mind those enjoying the luxury of already clinching their tickets to the big dance — they can probably swiftly and resoundingly answer that question with a yes.
Allen Park — Quarterback Matthew Stafford was on the field, but the Detroit Lions were down three starters and two additional key contributors during Wednesday's practice.
Running back Ameer Abdullah, guard T.J. Lang, center Travis Swanson, return man Jamal Agnew and recently acquired defensive end Dwight Freeney sat out the session.
Detroit — Justin Rogers grades the Detroit Lions' performance in Thursday's 30-23 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Detroit – As far as records go, it's not the most meaningful, but Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford continues to etch his name into the books as one of the most prolific passers the NFL has ever seen.
With his 11-yard, third-quarter completion to Ameer Abdullah on Thursday, Stafford passed future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning for the most passing yards before the age of 30. Stafford doesn't celebrate his 30th birthday until February.
Live updates: Lions fumble the ball back to Vikings
Marvin Jones took a quick pass from Stafford for a 17-yard gain on the first play of the drive. But that's where things went terribly wrong, as Stafford and Ameer Abdullah couldn't properly execute a handoff exchange and the Vikings recovered the fumble.
Vikings go 80 yards for opening TD
Case Keenum hit Kyle Rudolph for a one-yard touchdown to cap a 14-play, 80-yard drive by the Vikings that gives them a 6-0 lead with 5:29 remaining in the first quarter.
Allen Park — Ziggy Ansah is questionable for Thursday's game against the Minnesota Vikings, while return man Jamal Agnew and running back Dwayne Washington have been ruled out.
Ansah, who missed the past two weeks with a back injury, participated in both days of practice this week. In eight games, he's recorded 18 tackles, four sacks and a forced fumble.
In the two weeks Ansah was out, the Lions struggled to stop the run. The Browns and Bears both topped 200 yards in those games.
Chicago — Justin Rogers grades the Detroit Lions' performance in Sunday's 27-24 win over Chicago Bears.
Lions doing their best to talk up winless Browns
DETROIT (AP) — To hear Ameer Abdullah tell it, the winless Cleveland Browns might as well be Super Bowl contenders.
"They're a really good team, statistically. Go look them up defensively," said Abdullah, whose Detroit Lions face the Browns this weekend. "They've had a lot of first-round picks. They've got a lot of young talent. ... You never know. If they win eight straight, they'll probably make the playoffs."
Allen Park — The Lions were sputtering and spinning their wheels in October as they slipped in the NFC standings.
But, of all places, Detroit snapped out of its three-game skid and got back on track in Green Bay, a place where wins have seemingly been nonexistent for the Lions since the 1990s.
With the convincing 30-17 win — Detroit's second at Lambeau Field the past three seasons — the Lions jumped right back in the thick of playoff contention and in the hunt for a division title.
Green Bay, Wisconsin — Justin Rogers grades the Detroit Lions' performance in Monday's 30-17 win over the Green Bay Packers.
Matthew Stafford was sublimely accurate in the victory over the Packers, putting the ball right where it needed to be all night. Whether it was hanging on for an extra tick against the blitz to give Theo Riddick extra space on a long screen gain, or lofting two touchdown tosses right into Marvin Jones' wheelhouse, Stafford was on point in the victory. Grade: A
Lions win 30-17 as QB Matthew Stafford dissects Packers
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Matthew Stafford put on a quarterback clinic for the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field.
Aaron Rodgers could only watch from the sideline.
Stafford passed for 361 yards and two touchdowns to Marvin Jones, and the Lions snapped a three-game losing streak with a 30-17 win on Monday night over the offensively challenged Green Bay Packers.
"Matt (made) some great throws ... I just did what I love to do — go out there and get them," Jones said.
Allen Park — On one hand, Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter notes he's aware of his team's tendencies and doesn't want to be predictable. On the other, the Lions aren't using running back Ameer Abdullah on third downs, despite the back's proven abilities as a pass-catcher.
Allen Park – Ameer Abdullah is frustrated.
That much was evident Thursday as he spoke with reporters about the offense's struggles, specifically when asked what the Lions could do to improve their running game in the red zone.
"Call them, for one," Abdullah said about running plays inside the opponent's 20. "We're good at what we do. Once we kind of hone in on that, that's when we become a good team."
Despite his frustrated tone, Abdullah said it's not his job to tell the coaches what to do.
Allen Park — The trade deadline (and taking the kids trick-or-treating) screwed with the schedule a bit, but here's this week's 10 film study observations from the Lions' 20-15 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE RED ZONE
The story from the game has been the Lions' inability to score a touchdown with five trips inside the 20. We'll break them down, trip-by-trip.
Detroit — Justin Rogers grades the Lions' performance in Sunday's 20-15 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Allen Park – Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick are both dynamic, versatile playmakers, but for some reason, the Detroit Lions have been reluctant to have the two running backs on the field at the same time.
Through six games, the two haven't shared the field. In fact, the Lions haven't run any two-back formations this season, unless you count the random usage of a defensive player as a fullback.
Dominant defense leads Lions to 14-7 victory over Vikings
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — With Detroit defending a seven-point lead and third-and-goal from the 3, Anthony Zettel zoomed unblocked into Minnesota's backfield to sack Case Keenum with 2:19 remaining in the game.
The protection plan went awry for the Vikings on that particular play. Their problems against the Lions persisted all afternoon.
Lions Preview Capsule
New faces: OT Rick Wagner, OG T.J. Lang, OT Greg Robinson, DE Cornelius Washington, rookie LB Jarrad Davis, rookie CB Teez Tabor.
Key losses: OT Riley Reiff, OG Larry Warford, LB DeAndre Levy, DE Kerry Hyder, WR Anquan Boldin.
Lions reach 1-year agreement with RB Matt Asiata
DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Lions have agreed to a one-year deal with running back Matt Asiata.
Agent Kenny Zuckerman confirmed the deal Friday night. Asiata played the past five seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.
The agreement doesn't come as a huge surprise. Asiata rushed for 402 yards last season for Minnesota, more than any Detroit player managed. In five NFL seasons, Asiata has rushed for 1,259 yards on 361 carries.
Lions sign Forsett to help short-handed backfield
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions have signed running back Justin Forsett to bolster their short-handed backfield.
Forsett was released earlier this month by Baltimore after asking to be let go. He was on the inactive list two weekends ago and there didn't seem to be much playing time with the Ravens in his future.
The Lions are trying to patch up their backfield, which is missing Ameer Abdullah because of foot problems.
Lions RB Ameer Abdullah out 8-plus weeks with foot injury
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Theo Riddick is about to get a chance to be an every-down running back in the NFL.
The Detroit Lions put running back Ameer Abdullah on the reserve-injured list with a foot injury Wednesday, keeping him out of the lineup for at least eight weeks and pushing Riddick up the depth chart.
Lions potentially have versatile, dynamic duo in backfield
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — A year after having the NFL's worst running game, the Detroit Lions look as if they potentially have a dynamic duo in the backfield.
Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick combined for 120 yards receiving and 108 yards rushing in the Lions' season-opening 39-35 victory at Indianapolis.
Detroit – The Lions were dealt a potentially devastating blow during the team's Saturday mock game at Ford Field when tight end Eric Ebron suffered a right leg injury.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the early word is that it's an Achilles injury.
The injury occurred in the fourth quarter of the scrimmage, during an Ameer Abdullah run. Coach Jim Caldwell quickly cleared the area, sending the players to the opposite end of the field to continue practice...