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Caldwell: Lions’ banged-up backfield will be 'OK'

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Theo Riddick

Allen Park – The Detroit Lions entered the game against the Chicago Bears with three healthy running backs, but finished with just one.

Starter Theo Riddick was inactive with a wrist injury. Rookie Dwayne Washington, who shouldered the load against the Bears, missed a stretch after aggravating a lingering ankle issue. Zach Zenner, the reliable backup, was removed from the game to be evaluated for a concussion.

Suddenly, the Lions were down to Joique Bell, the veteran who re-signed with the team last week.

Given quarterback Matthew Stafford is nursing an injured finger on his throwing hand, plus the team has an upcoming road game in potentially inclement conditions, the banged-up backfield would seem to be cause for concern. Not for coach Jim Caldwell, who shrugged off the situation.

“You know, I think we’ll be OK,” Caldwell said.

Maybe that means Riddick’s injury isn’t a long-term concern. And Washington did return late in the game, so it’s possible his temporary removal was fueled by precaution more than concern.

Regardless, the Lions understand the importance of an efficient ground game. The team rushed for 114 yards in the win over the Bears. It’s the first time the team had topped 100 yards in 10 games.

Lions' Matthew Stafford OK to practice, play