Detroit Lions fans know the potential Ameer Abdullah has. His first preseason touches of his career unleashed a fury of jukes and speed that thrilled the crowd at Ford Field. His first professional carry in a regular season game was a slick touchdown run on the road in San Diego. Abdullah was coming off the best game of his career in 2016 when a brutal toe injury abruptly ended his season just six quarters into the year.
Now it appears the national media is starting to wise up to Abdullah’s potential. ESPN’s Matt Bowen caught wind of it watching some highlights from 2016:
Watching tape on #Lions RB Ameer Abdullah for @ESPNFantasy. Check out this run -- shakes two defenders. pic.twitter.com/MpkL6EpgRh— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) July 5, 2017
This led to a few other NFL analysts coming out of the shadows to shower praise upon Abdullah.
First, Brandon Thorn, the manager at The Scouting Academy, pitched in:
Absolutely loved his tape out of Nebraska. If he can stay healthy we're in for a treat. https://t.co/Lik1OpkyfI— Brandon Thorn (@VeteranScout) July 5, 2017
Then Josh Norris of NBC Sports and Rotoworld gave his two cents:
Abdullah's athletic testing was just behind David Johnson in his class.— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) July 5, 2017
2017 could be a fun year if healthy. https://t.co/ATar6p493H
Even Aaron Nagler of Packersnews.com had to give it up for Abdullah:
He can be deadly on that turf.— Aaron Nagler (@AaronNagler) July 5, 2017
Understandably so, both Thorn and Norris added the qualifier “if he can stay healthy.” While Abdullah played a full season in 2015 and never suffered a major injury in college, he has already undergone two major surgeries in his short NFL career: one for his shoulder after the 2015 season, and the other for the lisfranc tear in his foot that ended his 2016 season.
Abdullah said back in May that he is 100 percent healed from the injury, so there’s no real reason to be concerned that he’s at a bigger risk for injury than any other player, other than maybe his size. Still, Abdullah has carried the load before and will be expected to again in 2017. If his highlight reel is any indication, that’s reason enough for Lions fans to get excited about the upcoming season.