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Lions could have 1-2 punch at RB once Riddick returns

We saw just a small glimpse of what Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick can do together in this Detroit Lions offense a year ago.

Because of that, there's great mystery and intrigue surrounding the potential for not only this Lions run game in 2017, but for the offense overall.

Abdullah was lost just a game and a half into last season after suffering a foot injury that ultimately required surgery and ended his season.

Riddick was settling into an unfamiliar role as a lead back when he too was lost for the year with a wrist injury. He averaged at least 4.5 yards per carry in four of his last five full games.

While Abdullah is back taking handoffs and darting through the defense in OTAs, Riddick is working off to the side - at least he was at Wednesday's open OTA practice -  being put through running drills by strength and conditioning coach Harold Nash Jr. with a large wrap still around his right wrist.

Afterward, Riddick played coy about when we might see him back with Abdullah in Detroit's backfield.

"I guess you'll see," Riddick said when asked if he'll be ready to join his teammates on the field when training camp starts at the end of July.

And so we're left to wait and see if Detroit's top two backs can pick up where they left off after just a game and a half together last year.

With Abdullah and Riddick in the same backfield, the Lions as a team rushed for 116 yards and 137 yards, respectively, in a win over Indianapolis Week 1 and a loss to Tennessee the following week.

Once Abdullah was lost to injury, the Lions reached 100 yards on the ground as a team just once in the next 15 games (including playoffs).

Looking back to that 39-35 Week 1 victory in Indianapolis, we saw a snippet of the potential for Jim Bob Cooter's offense in 2017.

Abdullah and Riddick combined for 108 rushing yards on 19 carries, added another 120 receiving on 10 receptions and scored three touchdowns between them. It was the only time they played a full game together in the 2016 season.

Consider the fact that Lions general manager Bob Quinn upgraded the entire right side of his offensive line with the additions of guard T.J. Lang and tackle Rick Wagner, and the potential seems even greater this year.

If Abdullah and Riddick can continue the success they showed in that brief window, the possibilities for this offense are endless.

"We just want to go out there and play, man," Riddick told The Detroit News. "Me and Ameer, the one thing we have in common is we don't like to talk about it. We're some 'do-ers,' you know? … A lot of people — a lot of teams — know what we're capable of, and we just want to be able to show that.

"We'll be ready. And when the season starts, we'll let our play speak for itself. We just can't wait till September."

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