ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- He had one carry the last time he took the field. In a season where Ameer Abdullah started off shining and ended up benched and then barely used, this was the nadir.
Against the Chiefs, the Detroit Lions rookie running back had one carry and played just five snaps. That, though, could be changing.
“Ameer’s role will be growing. I’d like to get him the ball,” Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter said. “I’d like to get all our guys the ball, like we said, that week the situation of that game didn’t lend to a ton of runs once we got into a certain point in the game.”
The Lions had a season-low 14 carries against Kansas City and other than the team’s lone win of the season against Chicago, Detroit has not had more than 19 carries in a game this season. It’s part of the reason why the Lions have the worst rushing offense in the NFL at 69.63 yards per game, although they’ve gone for 77 yards or more the last three weeks.
Abdullah, despite one definitive benching and at least one other long stretch where he sat that could have been considered one, is still the team’s leading rusher with 225 yards and he’s the only Lions running back with more than 100 yards rushing this season. Even Abdullah has only had one game where he’s gained at least 50 yards -- the season-opener, his high point of the season, where he gained exactly 50 yards.
Cooter said he envisions using Abdullah as a rusher and as a receiver in the second half of the season, but also indicated he’s planning on using more than one back but doesn’t want to end up in a situation where a back has only one or two carries in a game.
So, Week 8 might be the last time you see Abdullah get only one rush in a game. That’s a good thing for him as he said the first half of his season has gone “all right.”
“A couple things have been brought to my attention that I feel comfortable about,” Abdullah said. “And there’s some things that I don’t feel comfortable about. So I can’t be too mad, can’t be too happy at all. Just got to keep working, got eight more games.
“Hopefully, it’s a better eight.”