NFL Wire News

Abdullah benched after fumbling again for Lions

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ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Detroit Lions running back Ameer Abdullah had a nice game Sunday with 14 carries for 48 yards and 21 yards on three catches, but the Lions benched him for much of the second half after his third fumble in the past two games, though his team recovered.

“I’ve got to look in the mirror and I’ve got to get this right,” he said after the game.

Abdullah suffered an arm injury that head coach Jim Caldwell described as a stinger later in the game, but the team never announced the injury, leaving it up for debate if it was a benching. Theo Riddick was the primary running back in the second half with seven carries for 28 yards.

“You know, I want this team to trust me. I want the coaches to trust me, so I can’t continue to put it on the ground,” Abdullah said. “It’s disappointing for me, but I realized today I’ve got some great teammates, man. A lot of people picked me up, man.”

–Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi moved up to the press-box level of Ford Field for the first time in his two years with the Lions. He had wanted to move previously, but the team thought he should be on the field last year as the players adjusted to a new scheme.

“It was one of those things that Joe had really wanted to go up there previously, and, so, it just so happened it kind of made sense at this particular time and it just changed his vantage point a little bit,” head coach Jim Caldwell said.

Quarterback Stafford said the only difference he noticed was “just a Tennessee, country twang coming into the ear” as quarterbacks coach Jim Bob Cooter relayed Lombardi’s calls on the field.

“I thought we played well on offense,” said Stafford, who threw for season highs of 405 yards and four touchdowns. “I’m not sure that had anything to do with the game. I think we went out and we executed better, and that helps us win.”

–Rookie running back Zach Zenner suffered four cracked ribs and a partially collapsed lung on a hard second-quarter hit from Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee. He’ll go on injured reserve, but should recover within the next two months.

Zenner had three carries for 15 yards before exiting and going to an area hospital, and he’ll finish the year with 17 carries for 60 yards and two catches for 11 yards.


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