By: Will Burchfield
The Lions need help at running back any way you slice it.
Ameer Adbullah is on injured reserve, Theo Riddick hasn’t played in two weeks and Dwayne Washington hasn’t played in three. The team’s backfield against the Washington Redskins consisted of Zach Zenner and Justin Forsett.
Detroit has averaged 74.6 rushing yards in the past five games and ranks 24th in the league with 89.4 rushing yards per game.
Moving forward, that’s not going to cut it.
So how’s this for a solution: Call up the Dallas Cowboys and work out a trade for Darren McFadden.
That’s what Fox Sports suggested on Tuesday, in proposing five trades that NFL teams should make before the Nov. 1 trade deadline.
McFadden is currently on the non-football-injury list after breaking his elbow in the offseason, but he told reporters last week that he’s healthy and “ready to go.” The Cowboys have yet to activate him, in part because they don’t really need to. They lead the league in rushing with over 160 yards per game, buoyed by MVP candidate Ezekiel Elliot and the strong backup tandem of Alfred Morris and Lance Dunbar.
So McFadden, despite finishing fourth in the NFL in rushing in 2015, is an expendable asset. Fox Sports suggests that “the Lions could probably land (him) for a fourth- or fifth-round pick, which isn’t exactly the costliest price.”
For what it’s worth, both Riddick (ankle) and Washington (ankle) returned to practice on Wednesday, suggesting they’ll be able to play this weekend. But Riddick doesn’t fill the need for a between-the-tackles runner and Washington’s still an unproven rookie. McFadden, the eight-year veteran, solves both those issues.
As Fox Sports says, “(He) could come in right away and take over the starting job, pushing Riddick back to his role as a third-down back – and a really good one, at that.”
There’s certainly some logic behind the idea. Whether or not the Lions would consider it is a much different question.