After jettisoning Joique Bell this offseason, the Detroit Lions have been in the market to add a between-the-tackles veteran running back.
On Tuesday, they took Stevan Ridley for a test drive, a source told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.
The running back disappointed last season with the New York Jets, gaining only 90 yards on 36 carries (2.5 yards per attempt). He missed the team’s first eight games while recovering from an ACL injury, which affected his 2015 performance. Rapoport added Ridley should be 100 percent at this stage of his recovery.
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Ridley’s best season came in 2012 when he earned 1,263 yards on 290 carries and 12 rushing touchdowns with the Patriots. Lions new general manager Bob Quinn, who spent his entire career in New England, knows Ridley well. If healthy, Ridley could add a veteran presence behind second-year pro Ameer Abdullah jersey and pass-catching back Theo Riddick.
1. Big Play Slay lived up to his moniker Sunday. Darius Slay forced a Ryan Mathews fumble with 2:41 remaining, which the Lions recovered, leading to the go-ahead field goal. Slay then intercepted a Carson Wentz heave on the next Eagles play from scrimmage to seal the win. Philadelphia avoided Slay most of the day, and instead picked on weaker Lions defensive backs. When the Eagles went his way late, the corner made them pay. Slay signed a big-money contract extension with cheap jerseys this offseason to little fanfare outside of Detroit. He’ll get nationwide attention after winning and sealing the game for the Lions.
2. Wentz threw the first interception of his career on his 135th pass of the season to quickly stifle any last-minute comeback. The rookie quarterback played sublime otherwise. Wentz picked apart a banged-up Detroit defense in the final three quarters with precision passes, heady rollouts, timely runs and great line calls. Too much is made of Wentz dinking-and-dunking. That’s the offense Doug Pederson calls. When asked to throw down the field Wentz displayed pin-point accuracy — his ball placement on a 28-yard back-shoulder throw to Jordan Matthews jersey late in the first half was Pro Bowl caliber. Wentz led the Eagles back from a 14-0 deficit to start the game. If the Eagles’ defense wasn’t so sleepy in the first quarter, it would have been a different outcome.
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3. It was a tale of two halves for Jim Schwartz’s defense. The Eagles looked sluggish out of the gate. Matthew Stafford carved them up with quick passes on three straight touchdown drives of 11 plays, 9 plays and 12 plays to open the game. Philadelphia could not cover or tackle running back Theo Riddick (two TD catches) in the first half. Jim Bob Cooter used a plethora of misdirection early to gash Schwartz defense.
Nigel Bradham played sparingly in the first half — Pederson said after the game the linebacker wasn’t punished for his bye-week arrest. In the second half, Bradham was all over the field, including three tackles for loss. The Eagles’ front dominated the second half, sacking Stafford three times — Fletcher Cox (1 sack) clown-suited Detroit blockers several times. After giving up 17 first downs in the first half, the Lions got just three in the second two quarters. It was just enough.
4. Golden Tate made up for his awful start to the season with a huge 27-yard catch-and-run on third-and-4 to set up the game-winning score. Jim Bob Cooter utilized Tate in the run-game early and wanted the receiver more involved in the offense after he’d been a ghost the first four games of the season.
5. The Eagles rotated Mathews and Darren Sproles in the backfield. Mathews took the majority of totes (11 for 42 yards; 3.8 average), but Sproles was the most efficient runner (5 for 45). Mathews made a crucial mistake, carrying the ball in his inside arm on the fumble (the Eagles’ first turnover of the season). A veteran should know better.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that the Detroit Lions will host Clausen for a work out on Monday, per a source informed of the situation.
Clausen started three games in 2015, one with the Bears and two with the Ravens authentic jerseys. He owns a 54 percent completion rate for his career with seven touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
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The 28-year-old signal-caller hasn’t been considered a viable starter since his wayward rookie season with the Panthers in 2010. Still, he could find work as a competent backup who can run an offense in a pinch.
Per Rapoport, Clausen also worked out for the Washington Redskins last week.
With Abdullah on the shelf, the Lions will turn to Theo Riddick as the starter in the short term. Riddick is the NFL’s premier pass-catching running back, but not a player who is going to churn up yards between the tackles. His usage on running plays might increase slightly in the coming games, but giving a back like Riddick a ton of carries is going to land him on the injured list and wholesale nfl jerseys, too.
The door now opens for rookie Dwayne Washington jersey to take on a much bigger role. The 6-foot-1, 223-pound back impressed in the preseason. He was already tabbed as the Lions’ short-yardage and goal line back. He should get more carries between the 20s with Abdullah gone (everyone rush to your fantasy football waiver wire!!!). Zach Zenner also likely will see his first action of the regular season after two healthy scratches.
The Abdullah-Riddick combination looked unstoppable in Week 1. Now Jim Bob Cooter will have to adjust his offense to compensate for half that tandem missing at least half the season.
To replace Abdullah on the active roster, the Lions signed wide receiver Aaron Dobson, who most recently spent time with the Patriots. Lions general manager and former Patriots director of pro scouting Bob Quinn drafted Dobson to New England in the second round of the 2013 draft.