Caldwell did not give a timetable for Decker’s return. The coach said he would update the second-year player’s status at the start of training camp. Caldwell added he doesn’t think the surgery should cost Decker his entire 2017 season.
It’s a blow for Decker, who is coming off a promising rookie campaign. Decker anchored Matthew Stafford’s blindside last season, allowing 4.5 of 37 team sacks allowed. The Lions expected the left tackle to further improve in Year Two, solidifying a line that added highly paid right tackle Ricky Wagner and guard T.J. Lang.
Abdullah owns the shiftiness in tight spaces, willingness to run between the tackles and pass-catching ability to be an every-down back in the Lions offense, if he can stay healthy. The tandem of Abdullah and Riddick flashed potential to discombobulate defenses in their brief time together.
The lack of moves at the running back position tell us the Lions believe Abdullah’s injuries are in the past. Behind a revamped line, the offense could become more balanced in 2017. If, however, injuries strike again, one of the worst rushing offenses last season will struggle again, putting Matthew Stafford in more tough spots.
“Wayne was one of our finest players from the decade of the 60s and will not only be remembered for his career accomplishments as a Lion, but also for his great success as a broadcaster after his playing days were over,” Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford said in a team statement.
The former Idaho standout set a team record by playing in 200 games. The mark stood until kicker Jason Hanson surpassed it in 2004. The three-time Pro Bowl selection led the Lions in scoring three times as its kicker during his 15-year career.
Lary was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979 after a career in which he was named All-NFL five times, voted to nine Pro Bowls and selected to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1950s.
“On behalf of my family and the Detroit Lions, I would like to extend my deepest, personal sympathies to Mary Jane and to his children Yale, Jr. and Nancy Jane on the passing of Yale,” Lions owner Martha Firestone Ford said in a statement. “As his Hall of Fame career indicates, Yale truly was one of our all-time great players and one of the greatest of his generation. As good as he was on the field, he also was a genuinely wonderful person, one whose company and friendship Mr. Ford and I greatly cherished.”
Forsett was released by the Ravens after a disappointing start to the 2016 season last Wednesday. Through the first three games of the Ravens’ season, the former Pro Bowler averaged just 3.2 yards per carry and was eventually benched for Terrance West last weekend.
The Lions, though, are in need of a veteran running back’s services. With Ameer Abdullah on injured reserve with a foot injury and Dwayne Washington battling a foot and ankle injury of his own, Detroit could use Forsett to help a depleted backfield.
The Lions lost starting running back Ameer Abdullah to injured reserve with a foot injury. Rookie Dwayne Washington is battling ankle troubles. Theo Riddick is a pass-catching back, not a between-the-tackles player. Zach Zenner has proven ineffective outside of preseason action.
The Lions rank 23rd in rushing, with a meager 89.8 yards per game on the ground for the season. In the past three games without Abdullah, Detroit averaged a pathetic 65.3 YPG rushing — quarterback Matthew Stafford was the team’s second-leading rusher in each of those contests.