Detroit Lions 2018 breakout star: Tion Green

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 3: Running Back Tion Green
BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 3: Running Back Tion Green /

After getting a late start to his rookie season, Detroit Lions running back Tion Green could become a breakout star for the Motor City in 2018.

The Detroit Lions season essentially ended after Sunday’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Although it’s hard to think positively right now if you’re a Lions fan, there is a silver lining I want to point out. That silver lining is rookie running back Tion Green.

Green, who was the final player selected to make the 53-man roster after the preseason didn’t even see the field until the Lions Week 13 game against the Baltimore Ravens. In his debut, the former Cincinnati Bearcat had 11 carries for 51 yards and his first NFL touchdown.

Fast forward to Sunday’s game in Cincinnati. The Lions were facing 3rd and short. This is something they’ve struggled with all season, converting only seven of their 18 previous attempts. Not this time, as quarterback Matthew Stafford pitched the ball to Green with ease. And the rookie runner got the first down.

Green would go on to help the Lions convert on a crucial 4th and 1, and score the go-ahead touchdown later in the drive. Unfortunately, the Lions couldn’t hold onto that lead – but we already know how that turned out so there’s no need to revisit those gruesome details.

Whether general manager Bob Quinn and the L:ions’ front office select a running back in this year’s draft – which I’m assuming they will – Green should still be an important asset to Detroit’s offense. The 24 year-old chimes in at 6’0, 220 pounds.

Green’s a strong back that can lower his shoulders and can power himself past multiple defenders at once, making him perfect for those 3rd and short conversion opportunities. As well as being an excellent goal line rusher.

Tion ran for well over 700 yards in each of his final two seasons at Cincinnati, averaging 4.75 yards per carry. That is exactly what the Lions need from him and as he continues to learn his way around the league he will only get better.

Much like defensive end Kerry Hyder during the 2016 season, Green seemingly came out of nowhere while barely making the team. They both quickly became a fan favorite for having such an immediate impact.

With running back Ameer Abdullah‘s future with the Lions uncertain and veteran back Theo Riddick clearly being used more as a receiver out of the backfield, Green could find himself playing a major role in Detroit’s offense next season. And with the right coaching (Josh McDaniels?) Tion could thrive.

Next: Is Josh McDaniels the Lions next head coach?

If I would have told you at the beginning of the season that Tion Green, the running back from Cincinnati who signed with the Lions as an undrafted free-agent, someone whom barely made the team would have more hype surrounding him than Ameer Abdullah or Theo Riddick by the end of the season; fans would have looked at me like I was crazy. But now, the Tion-hype train is ready for take-off. All aboard!