Five things to know about Lions’ Theo Riddick who is on his way back

Running back only played 10 games in 2016 due to injury

ALLEN PARK — Theo Riddick had an uncharacteristic drop in Friday’s training camp and he was not happy about it.

Riddick missed the final three games last season with injuries that led to surgery on both of his wrists.

After he missed all of the spring practices, he’s back in action wearing a red cautionary jersey. He’s not fair game — he is not supposed to be hit.

Here are five things to know about Riddick:

— Coach Jim Caldwell is pleased with his progress. “He’s coming along well, just in terms of his cardiovascular shape. He’s in good shape. He’s moving around out there,’’ Caldwell said on Friday. “The only thing we’re not allowing him to do is have contact, even though he went to the ground one time out there. But other than that, I think he’s making good progress.”

— When asked about the statement that he’s one of the most underrated players in the NFL, Riddick has one three-word response: “Let’s play ball.”

— He’s thrilled to be back on the practice field after watching all spring while still wearing a brace on his right wrist. “It’s what you love to do, go out there and get the calls going in fast motions or slow. And just being out there working on the little things, paying attention to detail,’’ Riddick said.

— Ameer Abdullah and Riddick have not been on the field together since the second game of the 2016 season. Abdullah missed the final 14 games with a foot injury. “As long a we stay healthy we should be in good shape. We’re two talented backs and want to get the ball in our hands, we just want to do something with it,’’ Riddick said. The Lions’ running game was ranked 30th in the NFL in 2016 averaging just 81.9 yards per game.

— Riddick and Abdullah help each other off the field. “That’s my guy, everybody’s close in the room. Definitely me and Ameer, we definitely communicate. When he’s in  I can be an extra set of eyes,’’ Riddick said. “We’re always constantly learning and critiquing ourselves. With that we’re always trying to push each other even if we can get better in the smallest area.’’

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Author: Paula Pasche

Paula Pasche, a veteran sports writer, covers the Detroit Lions for her Lions Lowdown blog. She has written two books, "Game of My Life Detroit Lions" and "100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" which are available at bookstores and on Amazon.com. She won first place for column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists in Detroit (Class B) in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was The Oakland Press 2010 Staffer of the Year.

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