Player awards: Rookie of the Year

Posted Jan 9, 2016

Running back Ameer Abdullah was named the Mel Farr Rookie of the Year by his teammates.

The Mel Farr Award is presented to the team's outstanding rookie performer.

This award is given in honor of the Lions' Mel Farr who enjoyed one of the finest rookie campaigns in team history. In that 1967 season, Farr led Detroit in both rushing (860 yards on 206 carries) and receiving (39 catches for 317 yards) and tied for the club lead in scoring with six touchdowns. As a result, he was named the Lions' MVP and was honored as the NFL Rookie of the Year by Sporting News.

This year's Mel Farr Rookie of the Year Award, as voted by the players, goes to running back Ameer Abdullah:

  • Abdullah's very first NFL carry went 24 yards for a touchdown Week 1 in San Diego.
  • His 29.1 kickoff return average set a new single-season franchise record, breaking the previous high of 28.4 by Mel Gray in 1994.
  • He finished second in the NFL in kickoff return average for the 2015 season.
  • Abdullah's 29.1-yard kick return average is the second-highest by a rookie in NFL history.
  • He carried the ball 143 times for 597 yards for 4.2 yards per carry, leading the Lions in all three categories.
  • Abdullah ranked fourth among NFL rookies with 4.2 yards per carry.
  • He averaged 4.7 yards per carry after the bye week, which ranked 11th in the NFL.
  • Abdullah came in second in the NFL with 1,857 all-purpose yards in 2015.
  • With 115 all-purpose yards (44 rushing, 7 receiving, 64 kickoff returns) at Chicago, Abdullah became the third rookie in team history with 1,800 all-purpose yards (RB Billy Sims, 1,907 in 1980; RB Barry Sanders, 1,870 in 1989).
    • His total of 1,857 is the third-most by a rookie in franchise history. In total, he gained 780 yards from scrimmage (597 rushing, 183 receiving) and 1,077 on kickoff returns.