Abdullah was claimed off waivers by the Vikings on Wednesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Abdullah will stay in the NFC North, joining a backfield that already includes Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray. The 2015 second-round pick isn't likely to be an immediate factor in the offense, but he could get a look on kickoff returns. There's no guarantee Abdullah sticks around for long, as the Vikings may view him as nothing more than short-term depth while Roc Thomas recovers from a hamstring injury.
The Lions are expected to waive Abdullah on Tuesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Detroit will bid adieu to its 2015 second-round pick as it makes room on the 53-man roster for receiver Bruce Ellington. Abdullah made 22 starts during his three-plus-year run in Detroit, but the 25-year-old averaged just 3.8 yards per carry while also dealing with some ball-security issues. The offseason additions of Kerryon Johnson and LeGarrette Blount had pushed Abdullah down to fourth on the depth chart at running back in 2018, with Abdullah suiting up in just three of the Lions' eight games. Abdullah's pedigree and ability to contribute in the return game should be enough to earn him a look elsewhere around the league as a depth back.
Abdullah (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's game at Minnesota. Abdullah has put an end to a three-game active streak, during which he recorded three touches for 19 yards from scrimmage and fumbled one time on his four kickoff returns. The latter may have played a part in Abdullah donning street clothes Sunday, but the real impetus likely is Theo Riddick (knee) returning from a two-game absence.
Abdullah didn't receive a carry but logged six yards on his lone reception and 77 yards with a fumble on three kickoff returns during Sunday's 28-14 loss to the Seahawks. Suiting up for the third consecutive game, Abdullah again had minimal offensive responsibilities despite Theo Riddick's (knee) continued absence. However, the fourth-year Nebraska product is showing well in his new role as the team's primary kickoff returner, averaging a solid 26.8 yards per return on his four attempts this year -- only five players with at least eight attempts in 2018 have done better. While Abdullah also lost a fumble on his first return attempt, the fact coach Matt Patricia kept him in there for multiple other chances suggests Abdullah isn't in much danger of losing the job -- unless a potentially healthy Riddick steals Abdullah's spot on the gameday roster in Week 9 and leaves Brandon Powell as the top candidate to take over those responsibilities.
Abdullah rushed once for one yard and caught his only target for 12 receiving yards during Sunday's 32-21 victory over Miami. Abdullah saw his first offensive snaps of the season Sunday with Theo Riddick (knee) unavailable to play, but the Lions didn't use him as a direct replacement for Riddick on obvious passing downs. Instead, rookie Kerryon Johnson predictably saw a slightly expanded workload while LeGarrette Blount remained in the same complementary, early-down role the veteran bruiser has been in all year. Even if Riddick remains sidelined in Week 8, don't expect Abdullah to see a significant uptick in usage anytime soon.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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