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Running back Zach Zenner returns to Detroit

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Zenner will have a chance to compete for a backup spot once again.

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Despite not receiving a tender from the Detroit Lions, Zach Zenner has re-signed with the team with whom he has spent his whole NFL career. 2018 will be the running back’s fourth season in Detroit, and he is expected to compete for a backup role once again.

Zenner carried the ball just 14 times last season, scoring once and averaging less than two yards per carry. The Lions have been awful in short-yardage situations, but nothing about Zenner’s body of work implies that he can be used in this capacity.

The depth chart at running back still lists Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick at the top, but they may soon be sliding down. Detroit continues to court just about every back on the free agent market, and most analysts project at least one draft pick spent on the position.

This all looks bad for Zenner, but clearly the team who picked him up as an undrafted free agent in 2015 sees enough in his potential to want to keep him around. His ability on special teams is something that general manager Bob Quinn surely values, and that could give him a slight edge over his competition.

At this time, the terms of his new contract have not been released.

UPDATE: Zenner was given a one-year deal above the league minimum, per Dave Birkett. Also interesting to note, he had other teams interested in him: