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10 QUESTIONS WITH TWENTYMAN: Will Lions use Abdullah on third down?

Every week during the regular season Tim Twentyman will answer 10 good questions from his Twitter account @ttwentyman in a feature we call "10 Questions with Twentyman."

20man: I'd be a little surprised if Decker, who stepped back on the practice field for the first time in five months just this Wednesday, is ready to play in a NFL game five days later in Green Bay. But who knows, I've been surprised before.

I think Cleveland at home next Sunday is probably a more realistic timeline, but we'll see how he looks this week, and we'll know more by Saturday or Sunday. When the team activates him from the PUP list, we'll know it's time.

20man: In all honesty, I did not realize this, Tyler, until you asked the question. I'm pretty shocked by it, actually. Abdullah has 101 carries on the year, but none on third down. I guess I shouldn't be totally surprised. Jim Bob Cooter likes to use Theo Riddick on third down, and in super short situations, Dwayne Washington and Zach Zenner have typically gotten the nod.

The statistics for those three players on third down, however, are a bit surprising. Quarterback Matthew Stafford is Detroit's leading rusher on third down. He's gained a first down on four of his six rushes. Riddick (1-for-4), Washington (1-for-4) and Zenner (1-for-3) have all struggled. It's obviously not all on them, but a combined 3-for-10 isn't what the Lions are looking for.

Maybe the Lions change things up a bit and give a guy like Abdullah, who's proven he can be elusive to tacklers, an opportunity on third down.

20man: His contract isn't necessarily expiring. The team picked up his fifth-year rookie option for next season, but that $8 million-plus contract is only guaranteed for injury. Detroit will have to make a decision on his fifth year after the season.

I'm sure Quinn fielded some calls, but my guess is there were no serious offers that would have made a deal advantageous for the Lions. What was Ebron going to fetch in the trade market? A third-day draft pick?

For that, I'd rather have the player. I know he's been inconsistent, but he can still make plays, which he showed last week vs. Pittsburgh in setting up the final touchdown try with a 44-yard reception.

I'd rather have Ebron and his athletic ability down the stretch than a late draft pick. He can still make plays.

20man: This draft class sure is turning into one of the best in years, but we knew that coming in. It was touted all offseason as being a good class.

Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, Kareem Hunt, D'Onta Foreman and Tarik Cohen all look like they're going to be really good players. Marlon Mack and Aaron Jones have shown real potential as fifth-round picks in Indy and Green Bay, respectively.

To answer your question, Quinn spoke a few times to reporters during the offseason at the NFL Scouting Combine, at the League Meeting in March, and right before and after the NFL Draft. And each time, he spoke glowingly of the running backs he had currently on the roster and his confidence in them.

"I feel pretty good about the position," Quinn told media members after the draft. "There were a couple running backs that we looked at in the middle part of the draft, but just no one we felt that was going to come in and really unseat any of the guys that we have on our roster. So, I feel good about that spot."

The run game involves so many moving parts that it doesn't just fall on the running backs. There has to be room to run, too.

Quinn usually doesn't speak to reporters until after the season concludes. There's still a lot of season left and time for the run game to become more consistent, but it will be interesting to hear Quinn's thoughts on the run game and what is needed, if it continues to struggle.

20man: I think the Steelers game was a bit of an anomaly. Detroit entered last week's game vs. Pittsburgh tied for fifth in the NFL with a red-zone efficiency percentage of 60 percent. That being said, there were obviously some issues that arose last week that need to be addressed.

Looking back at the game, Stafford really should have had two red zone touchdown passes. He couldn't have thrown the balls to Darren Fells and Marvin Jones Jr. any better. Both players dropped it. I'd say No. 1 is taking advantage of the opportunities when they arise.

The Lions are one of the worst teams in the NFL on 3rd and 1 and 4th and 1 situations. They convert those just a third of the time. Well, there's typically a lot of those situations in the red zone along the goal line. I don't put that all on the running backs, as I mentioned above. Detroit's offensive line has to be better in those tough, man-to-man situations. They aren't winning those matchups enough.

I'd also like to see Stafford maybe become a bigger factor around the goal line. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees is one of the best in the business down there. He's very good at finding a way to get the ball across the goal line, whether that's going over the top and stretching the ball out and then bringing it back, or finding enough room to sneak.

Theo Riddick could be utilized more in the red zone. He's one of the best mismatches the Lions have down there. They need to get creative with where he lines up and try to utilize those mismatches more. Getting receiver Kenny Golladay back, whenever that might be, will also help.

In the end, it really comes down to better execution. Catch the ball, throw a better pass and win a blocking matchup. It's not rocket science.

20man: We saw Agnew play one offensive snap vs. Pittsburgh, and he ran a jet-sweep-type play for a 12-yard gain. Lions head coach Jim Caldwell called it a bye-week "wrinkle."

Seeing more of No. 39 on offense might not be such a bad idea. He's so dynamic in the open field as a punt returner, it should translate to space on offense. I don't know what kind of hands he has, but it takes good hand-eye coordination to field punts, so I'm guessing that's not a big issue there.

Agnew isn't your typical 4.3-speed burner, either. He's not slightly built. He's got some muscle to his frame, and he can take a hit.

I don't know if I agree with your line about the offense being stagnant, however. The running game? Sure. In the red zone last week? Yes. But they did put up 482 yards against a top 5 defense in Pittsburgh. Detroit ranks in the top half of the league in passing. I wouldn't really call that stagnant. Maybe inconsistent is a better word.

20man: It's Week 9. It's tough to call a game a must-win at the midway point of the season. I'd call it a big game. Let's be honest, the Lions have let some games they could have won slip through their fingers. At the end of the year, those are the ones teams think about.

I think 10 wins is the number they need to get to be in the playoff conversation. With a current record of 3-4, they need to make a run.

The Packers are reeling after the Aaron Rodgers injury. Brett Hundley has struggled in Rodgers' place, and the Lions are favorites to win in Lambeau for just the third time in 26 years.

The Lions have lost three-straight games. This is a division game. It's a game the Lions need to have, but they're not in must-win territory just yet.

20man: It wasn't a huge disadvantage for Pittsburgh last week with Detroit coming off its bye. The bye does give players an opportunity to get healthy and recharge the batteries. Coaches get to scout an opponent an extra few days. Maybe come up with a wrinkle or two.

Maybe it helps the Packers a little bit based on some of my research. The previous four times the Packers have lost heading into their bye, they have won each game immediately following the bye. Packers head coach Mike McCarthy has won four of the five games he's played at home coming off the bye. The Packers have 9-2 under McCarthy in games played after the bye week.

20man: Golladay wasn't out at practice Thursday in the first open practice of the week for the Lions. That's never a good sign.

Golladay practiced last Monday and looked fine during the open portion. His teammates in the locker room after practice Monday were pretty matter-of-fact talking that Golladay would be back last week. He took part in the open portion of practice again last Wednesday, but was listed as limited later that day on the practice report. He then didn't practice Thursday or Friday. That has setback written all over it, but the team doesn't talk specifics about injuries, so we won't know for sure.

We'll have to see how the week goes, but it's not been a good start to the week for Golladay and that hamstring.

20man: That's a good question. I don't consider myself an expert at all on offensive line play. I'm not certain if Robinson's skillset would translate to guard. He's athletic and strong, so maybe.

I agree that Glasgow is a future center. Swanson has struggled early on this season, so we'll see if the future is closer than we think.

If we see anyone other than Glasgow play left guard in the near future, the newly acquired Don Barclay is a candidate. Barclay made one start for the Packers last season, and has made 24 starts in 62 career games since entering the NFL as an undrafted rookie in 2012 with Green Bay.

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