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Lions RB Ameer Abdullah Not a Happy Camper After Benching in Bears Game

After starting the first 11 games of the season at running back, Ameer Abdullah has barely played the last three weeks, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports.

Some of it is due to health. He hurt his neck in the Detroit Lions’ Thanksgiving loss to the Minnesota Vikings, and missed the next game because of the injury.

But in Saturday’s win over the Chicago Bears, Abdullah played just eight snaps and spent the majority of the second half on the bench even after newly-minted starter Theo Riddick got hurt.

“It’s definitely frustrating,” Abdullah told the Free Press on Monday. “It’s definitely something that I just want to take in and do my best to grow from it. That’s it.”

Abdullah said he hasn’t been given an explanation for why he lost his starting job, though he admitted last week that he hasn’t played up to his standards this year.

In his first 11 games, Abdullah ran for just 505 yards, and he’s averaging a career-worst 3.4 yards per carry on the season. The Lions rank 31st in the league in rushing offense at 77.4 yards per game.

“That’s something you’ll get better answers from Coach,” Abdullah said. “I don’t really have any answers for you.”

Abdullah said he doesn’t believe that he’s in the proverbial doghouse with coaches.

“Wouldn’t know why I would be,” he said. “There’s no specific thing that would put me there.”

And he called his reduced role “not a doghouse thing, just a judgment thing, an opportunity thing.”

With two games left, and with the Lions in need of wins in both to have a chance at the playoffs, Abdullah said he still believes he can be a factor for the team this year.

“(The benching is) definitely something to definitely reflect on for me personally, but at the same time, like I told you guys last time, I’m always going to trust the coach’s instinct and judgment because they’re the ones designing this plan to win,” Abdullah said. “And if that’s in the plan for that week, you’ve got to trust it. At the same, do my best to continue to be in the plan.”

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