Lions’ Abdullah: Rookies can change how RBs are valued

DETROIT — Old is new at the running back position, where Adrian Peterson and Matt Forte lead the league in rushing yards and Chris Johnson suddenly is relevant again.

But three weeks into the season, there’s a strong class of rookie running backs hoping to change the way the position is viewed across the NFL.

Detroit Lions second-round pick Ameer Abdullah said he and several other rookies stay in contact via group text message and share the same big-picture goal of making the running back position valuable again.

ABDULLAH

ABDULLAH

“We knew coming into this year this draft was going to be a really talented draft and deep at the running back position, and I feel like it can definitely do a lot for the running back position in the future, solidifying ourselves as a good option in this league,” Abdullah said last week. “Sometimes people like to try to devalue the position, but this class, we came in, I know a couple of my friends who are in this class said we want to make this class special. We want to make this class a class who can make the running back position kind of come back to life. And to see those guys making plays and me still trying to make plays myself, it does my heart a lot of justice, and I get excited for those guys.”

Abdullah leads the Lions in all-purpose yards and has two touchdowns in three games, but he’s hardly the only rookie running back turning heads across the league.

San Diego’s Melvin Gordon leads all rookie rushers with 190 yards through three games. Washington’s Matt Jones had a 123-yard, two-touchdown performance a week ago. Buffalo’s Karlos
Williams has scored a touchdown in three straight games. And Atlanta’s Tevin Coleman ran for 80 yards in his season debut before he missed last weekend’s game with a cracked rib.

Abdullah hasn’t had a breakout performance like Jones and Williams, but he said he will and he’s rooting for his fellow rookies to do the same.

“That’s going to come, man. It’s going to happen,” Abdullah said. “But right now, I don’t go in with any statistical goals. I feel like that’s the worst thing you can possibly do at any position, set a statistical goal for yourself for a season, for a game, because at the end of the day, even if you set that goal, you feel like you’re limiting yourself, anyway. Sky’s the limit is kind of a cliché thing to say, but I feel like that’s very true. You can’t say, ‘I want this many yards this season,’ because even those many yards can be limits in what you can get.”

avatar

Posted by Tribune News Services

Leave a Reply