Lions' Riddick proves he's worth the bucks

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
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Indianapolis — Theo Riddick played like a million bucks. Or is that $12.75 million?

Just two days after agreeing to a lucrative contract extension with the Detroit Lions, the playmaking running back delivered one of his finest performances in the team’s 39-35 season-opening win over the Indianapolis Colts.

Riddick scored both the first and last touchdown of the game for the Lions. In between, he sat out for a stretch in the second half while being evaluated for a concussion.

The first touchdown came on a career-long, 21-yard run around the left edge. The score put the Lions up 7-0 in the first quarter.

Riddick was forced from the action in the third quarter, heading to the locker room to be evaluated for a concussion. When he returned the field, the score was knotted at 28.

“Oh man. What can I say? I just wanted to go out there and help my team,” Riddick said. “To feel like you can’t contribute at a given time, especially when you’ve got a guy like Ameer (Abdullah) out there fighting off his behind.”

He wasted no time making an impact. Riddick carried the ball on back-to-back plays, gaining 19 yards. Four plays later, with the Lions in the red zone, he took a swing pass from Matthew Stafford, weaved through traffic and squirted into the end zone for the 13-yard touchdown to put the Lions up 34-28.

“To be honest, I turned my head and I saw a lane,” Riddick said. “I saw a lineman out in front of me, I saw Golden (Tate) out there blocking, if I put my put in the ground and just go straight, I’ve got a possibility of scoring and I did that.”

Riddick finished the game with seven carries for 45 yards and five receptions for 63 more, plus the two touchdowns. His final reception, a 19-yard gain, helped the Lions get into field-goal position for Matt Prater’s game-winner in the closing seconds.

Riddick finished last season with 80 receptions, a franchise record for his position.

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @justin_rogers

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