The offseason is the season for hopes and optimism. Every team is tied with a 0-0 record, and each NFL roster was just bolstered by the franchise’s best draft in years. With all of this young talent on every team, it’s only a matter before your favorite team is set up for the NFL’s next dynasty.
However, things haven’t been all that rosy at Pride Of Detroit over the past few weeks. Calvin Johnson is upset with the team. Kyle Van Noy is flaunting his Super Bowl ring in the face of the Lions organization. And, worst of all, the Lions’ franchise left tackle suffered a serious shoulder injury as is expected to miss at least the first month of the regular season.
So let’s get back what the offseason is really about and try to stir up some more Kool-Aid. Today’s Question of the Day is:
What is the biggest reason to be optimistic for the Detroit Lions in 2017?
My answer: A healthy Ameer Abdullah. While the Lions have the biggest room to improve on defense, getting a fully healthy Abdullah into the lineup could be huge for Detroit in 2017. Abdullah has looked electric at times in his young career, and though a Lisfranc injury is nothing gloss over, it looks like Ameer is fully healthy at this point in the offseason.
The Lions’ running game was flat all season last year. Abdullah will bring the potential of explosion plays on the ground—something that has been missing from the Lions offense since the days of Jahvid Best. The Lions had just six rushes of 20+ yards last season (fifth-fewest), and one of those was from Abdullah. In his rookie year, Abdullah had four rushes of 20 or more yards.
But don’t sleep on Abdullah’s talent as a receiver. Though Theo Riddick is likely to grab more passes out of the backfield, Abdullah was just starting to emerge as a receiving threat before suffering an injury in 2016. In the season opener, Abdullah hauled in five catches for 57 yards and a touchdown.
So while the Lions have lost a key member of their offensive line for a few months, they will be getting back one of their biggest weapons on the roster. On what appears to be a very talented offense on paper, Abdullah brings with him potential to be a top 10, maybe even a top 5 offense in the league.