The Detroit Lions continue to lose bodies at running back. With Ameer Abdullah already on injured reserve, Theo Riddick has been officially ruled out for Week 6 with an ankle injury, opening the door for both Dwayne Washington and Justin Forsett to see additional work at the position.
Washington, a seventh-round pick by the team this offseason, could step into the starting role. That's assuming he's able to overcome his own ankle injury, which has him questionable for Sunday's clash with the Los Angeles Rams.
The Lions signed Forsett on Tuesday after the Baltimore Ravens let him go last week. While the veteran is capable of filling a three-down role, it's unclear how much of the offense he'll be able to learn on such short notice.
Thus, Washington is likely to see the majority of snaps for the Lions at running back while Riddick is sidelined.
However, Zach Zenner is the better option by the goal line and in short-yardage situations and could be a touchdown vulture. While he'll limit Washington's upside, Zenner possesses a pretty low upside as well, since Washington may see the majority of the snaps and touches in the short term.
Nonetheless, Washington is the player to own in Detroit's backfield while Riddick is injured. He's a former receiver, so he should make plays in the passing game as Matthew Stafford's safety net, and he vaulted past Zenner on the depth chart this summer.
Still, Washington isn't exactly the safest bet to produce. At this point, view him as an RB3 with upside. And monitor Forsett's and Zenner's roles carefully because that will shape how each member of the backfield is viewed in fantasy circles if Riddick remains out for more than one week.
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