With the Detroit Lions backfield not gaining any notable names via free agency, trade, or the NFL Draft, running back Ameer Abdullah appears to be the featured back going into next season. Abdullah told the Detroit News today that he is ready for the upcoming season.

“I wasn’t really counting on (the team not adding someone), I was counting on myself to do the things that I needed to do to be healthy so when the time came to compete, with whoever it was.”

Abdullah had a promising rookie year in 2015 for the Lions. He appeared in 16 games and rushed for 597 yards on 143 carries. Unfortunately, a broken foot hampered his sophomore season.

Abdullah is confident that he can make a return to the team and that his presence in the backfield is the best that the Lions can do. He apparently wasn’t threatened when there was talk about Detroit acquiring the services of another runner.

“It doesn’t bother me to talk about that stuff, but at the same time, I don’t really care what really happened, because I feel like I’m a better player than whoever they were going to bring in,” Abdullah said, speaking at the team’s “Taste of the Lions” event at Ford Field. “It didn’t matter to me. That’s just me being a player and a competitor.”

Abdullah lives for football and wants Detroit Lions fans to know that he’s fully committed to the team and the game.

“Sometimes you need to miss the game to realize how much you love it,” he said. “I’ve always been passionate about this game, but missing last year was huge for me. I’ve had a lot of time to sit down and think and watch a lot of football, and a lot of times, I was depressed.

“Felt like I let a lot of people down because I wasn’t out there. And anytime you feel like that, you know you really love this game. So, having the opportunity to come back, OTAs coming up pretty soon, that’s huge for me. I’m not taking anything for granted.”

It would certainly help Matthew Stafford and the rest of the offense if Detroit can get a consistent running game. Abdullah appears confident that he can provide that for the team. Let’s hope that his play matches his confidence level.