What will the Detroit Lions do about their crowded backfield?

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 08: Quarterback Matthew Stafford
DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 08: Quarterback Matthew Stafford /

The running back situation for the Detroit Lions is up in the air. It’s clear there’s been an overhaul at the position. Who’s on their way out soon?

Crowded is a good word to describe the Detroit Lions‘ running back room. Many resources, including the draft and free agency, were used to upgrade the running game.

Nabbing LeGarrette Blount off the market and re-signing Zach Zenner was the start and a good one too. Things only got better day two of the draft when the Lions drafted Kerryon Johnson and fullback Nick Bawden on day three.

That’s four running backs right there. Most teams carry five.

Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Tion Green and Dwayne Washington are the remaining backs. Sounds like competition to me.

There’s talk about trades of Abdullah or Riddick but that’s all it is. This would make the roster moves to 53 less difficult. I’m all for it if the return is fair and it’s not just a giveaway.

Another possible outcome for the Lions might include six running backs on the roster. Uncommon yes, but it’s something new head coach Matt Patricia’s former team (New England Patriots) did.

I see it happening here in Detroit. Based on our personnel, it would work out well.

Blount and Johnson fit the bill as the main backs. Riddick and Abdullah are essentially wide receivers but can function in change of pace roles and in the return game. Zenner and Bawden are great blockers and add excellent value as power runners and special teamers on coverage units.

All the backs serve a purpose and have specific niches. That’s enough for me to feel comfortable with six backs come the regular season.

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Green with his lack of difference-making ability and Washington with his lack of dependable availability makes them the odd men out in this competition.

It’s still too early in the process to write anyone off just yet. Lots could change. For now, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.