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Lions' Abdullah, Levy feel good after preseason debuts

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Ameer Abdullah

Baltimore — The Detroit Lions got two key members of the roster back on the field against the Baltimore Ravens with running back Ameer Abdullah and linebacker DeAndre Levy both taking snaps in the exhibition contest.

Levy hadn’t appeared in a game since Week 5 last season, when he aggravated a hip injury that had already sidelined him the first four games of the regular season. Then, after practicing through the early stages of the offseason program this year, he suffered an unknown, but unrelated injury during the off period between mandatory minicamp and training camp, landing him on the physically unable to perform list for two-plus weeks.

Prior to his injury issues, Levy was one of the top 4-3 linebackers in the NFL. He finished second in the league with six interceptions in 2013 and followed that by recording a career-best 151 tackles in 2014, finishing behind only Carolina’s Luke Kuechly.

Levy played two defensive series in the 30-9 loss to the Ravens, recording a pair of tackles.

"I thought he moved around well and he knocked a little bit of the rust off," coach Jim Caldwell said. "It didn’t take him long. You know, he came out of it in good shape so we’ll see what happens with him going forward."

Abdullah, on the other hand, has been actively practicing all training camp, but had been wearing a red, non-contact jersey until this week. The Lions didn’t want to expose him to unnecessary hits coming back from offseason shoulder surgery.

The second-year running back is expected to be the lead option in Detroit’s backfield this season, after averaging 4.2 yards per carry as a rookie.

He flashed that potential against the Ravens, twice getting the edge for nice gains. His 11-yard carry at the end of the first quarter set the Lions up with a fresh set of downs just outside the red zone.

In the second quarter, he got to the corner and waltzed into the end zone for what should have been a 15-yard touchdown, but the play was negated by a holding call against rookie tight end Cole Wick.

"I thought it was a bad call," Abdullah said after the game. "But I can't control that stuff. We can only control what we can control. We still should have gotten a touchdown out of the equation. There's no excuse on our end. Stuff like that happens."

Instead, the Lions settled for a 28-yard Matt Prater field goal.

Abdullah finished the game with 16 yards on four carries. He also dropped the only pass thrown his direction.

As for his shoulder, Abdullah said he no lingering concern from the injury.