Lions coaching staff insists RB Tion Green still in mix

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Undrafted rookie running back Tion Green has yet to be activated for a regular season game.

Allen Park — With Dwayne Washington sidelined with a hip injury, the Lions will likely go back to Zach Zenner as the third running back in the rotation this week against the Chicago Bears. But what about Tion Green?

The undrafted rookie has yet to be active for a regular season game this season, but offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter expressed confidence in Green’s ability to get the job done if needed.

“Yeah, he’s been getting better,” Cooter said. “I think he’s developing his body a little bit, developing the way he sort of sees and understands the game. We have multiple backs, we kind of make those decisions week by week, but he’s a guy that we feel comfortable with.

“If he’s in the game, he can execute the job that we would ask him to do.”

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The Lions have not received much production out of their third back this season. Zenner and Washington have combined to average 2.0 yards on 30 carries. And neither has been reliable in a short-yardage role with three first downs and one touchdown between them.

The six-foot, 220-pound Green averaged 3.9 yards on 21 preseason carries. He also added four receptions for 87 yards, including a 74-yard touchdown in the finale against the Bills.

Twitter: @justin_rogers