It didn’t take long for Ameer Abdullah to find a new home in the NFL, and the former Husker running back won’t even have to leave the NFC North.
According to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Abdullah was claimed off waivers by the Minnesota Vikings just one day after being waived by the Detroit Lions.
Abdullah was drafted by Detroit in 2015 as the No. 54 pick overall in the second round.
He got off to a good start for the Lions, playing in all 16 games his rookie season and totaling 597 rushing yards, as well as 183 receiving yards, though there were some issues with ball security. Still, things looked promising. He scored a 24-yard touchdown the first time he ever touched the ball in an NFL game.
Injuries derailed his momentum the next year, with Abdullah playing in just two games in 2016. He bounced back in 2017 to be named the starter before the season and run for 552 yards and total 714 yards from scrimmage. He averaged 3.3 yards per carry, including a 94-yard day against the Minnesota Vikings that almost broke a long Lions’ streak of not having a player fun for more than 100 in a game.
But Abdullah’s role was diminished to almost nothing this season under the direction of new head coach Matt Patricia, with the Lions putting their focus on their new running back Kerryon Johnson. Abdullah had appeared in just three games, and was given just one carry. He told the Detroit News he has kept from thinking about that being him out there.
“You know what, man? Not really,” Abdullah said to the newspaper. “I’m just not really built like that. I feel what’s for me is for me. What’s going to be is what’s going to happen for me in the future. I see how hard Kerryon and LeGarrette (Blount) work in practice, and I just try to keep those guys going. Every week is not going to be like that, and just letting them know every time they go out there and give their all at practice, it’s enough.”
Abdullah was a fan favorite of Husker fans, as he piled up 4,588 rushing yards during his Nebraska career, running for more than 1,000 yards each of his past four seasons. He had 1,690 during his junior year in 2013, and added 1,611 more his senior year in 2014. Add in his receiving yards and return yards, and Abdullah produced 7,086 yards for Nebraska, averaging 7.3 yards every time he touched the ball.
He enters a Minnesota Vikings running back situation, where Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray have been the primary backs, though Cook has battled injuries throughout most of the 2018 season. Murray is slated to be a free agent for the team after this season. The Vikings are on a bye this week.