Ameer Abdullah has chance to make strong first impression for Lions

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

The Detroit Lions open the preseason at 7:30 p.m. ET Thursday vs. the New York Jets at Ford Field. Here's a couple things to watch for during the game:

Why watch: It's the first chance to see the Detroit Lions this season -- particularly rookie running back Ameer Abdullah, one of the early stars of training camp. While a lot of the veteran starters likely won't play much, if at all, Abdullah could see a significant amount of work as he adjusts to the NFL speed. He's been impressive in camp, where hitting players to the ground is not encouraged, so seeing him against live competition will be key for Detroit as it evaluates its running back situation with Joique Bell still out.

Did you know: The last time the New York Jets came to Ford Field in the preseason, then-rookie quarterback Geno Smith injured his ankle in the second half of the exhibition game. More bad news is following Smith to Michigan this week as the quarterback won't play Thursday and is out for the foreseeable future after being punched in the jaw by since-cut linebacker IK Enemkpali on Tuesday. The punch broke Smith's jaw. It is also the third straight preseason opener at Ford Field that will get a bunch of attention. After Smith's debut in 2013, the Lions faced Johnny Manziel in his debut last season and now the current Jets situation this season.