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Camp Spotlight: Running Back Theo Riddick


Position: Running back

Ht/Wt: 5-9, 201

College: Notre Dame

Experience: 5th season

Outlook: After undergoing offseason wrist surgery, Riddick is healthy, and expected to play a big role this season.

The Lions are hoping the one-two punch of Ameer Abdullah and Riddick in their backfield can be as productive this season as we saw it in the brief time they were together last season. 

View photos of running back Theo Riddick during the Detroit Lions training camp practice on Aug. 16, 2017.

Before Abdullah went down with a foot injury in the second half of Week 2, the pair had combined for 183 yards rushing, 138 yards receiving and three touchdowns.

Riddick finished last season with 357 rushing yards, 371 receiving yards, and six touchdowns in 10 games (eight starts).

He is only two seasons removed from an 80-catch performance, which led all running backs. With Abdullah expected to carry the bulk of the load on the ground, we could see Riddick revert back to a similar role he played in 2015, when he had all those catches out of the backfield.

Riddick is a terrific chess piece for offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, especially in the red zone. He can also play the slot, which allows the Lions to get him in the best one-on-one matchups possible. There isn't a linebacker in this league that can cover Riddick in space.

A healthy Riddick will be a major weapon for the Lions' offense.

Practice report: Riddick continues to wear the red no-contact jersey he started camp with. The Lions want to limit his contact and make sure he's 100 percent ready to roll when the Arizona Cardinals come to town Week 1.

In a team red zone drill late in practice, Riddick ran a terrific option route, leaving linebacker Steve Longa in his wake for an easy catch in the flat.

Later in the same period, Riddick lined up out wide as a receiver, drawing the attention of a cornerback.

That's where Riddick puts so much pressure on a defense. He can wear many hats in this offense, and that's one of his best traits.

Quotable: "Theo can be one of the best weapons in the NFL if we use him right," Abdullah said of his fellow running back. "With the option routes and choice routes, he's a lot to handle. If we go into it thinking, 'This is a Theo down,' that's a tough down for a defense to get a stop."

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