Lions' Dwayne Washington burnishes resume with stellar performance

By Matt Schoch
Special to The Detroit News

Detroit — If Thursday night was Dwayne Washington’s final game in a Detroit Lions uniform, the team gave him plenty of chances to put together some game tape for other teams to take notice.

With many of the regulars sitting out the final preseason game, a 35-17 loss to the Cleveland Browns, Washington rushed for 67 yards on 20 carries and caught a team-high six passes on seven targets for 43 yards.

Lions running back Dwayne Washington goes into the end zone for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

“I would say he played extremely hard tonight, played tough and tried to play physical in those situations out there,” Lions coach Matt Patricia said.

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Washington’s 26 touches were the most he’s had in a regular season or preseason game. The third-year player out of Washington had 17 touches as a rookie in the 2016 regular season against Chicago, gaining a career-high 64 rushing yards.

The Lions sat LeGarrette Blount, Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Kerryon Johnson and fullback Nick Bellore on Thursday, leaving Washington and Zach Zenner as the only two running backs in Detroit’s plans.

Then, Zenner went out with a back injury in the first series, leaving Washington to fend for himself the rest of the game.

“Obviously we threw him out there, I was saying, in a situation where we’re kind of behind and not really on top of the game,” Patricia said. “That makes his job harder, being out there in those situations.”

Washington played in 17 regular season games for the Lions over two seasons after being drafted in the seventh round in 2016. His only career regular-season touchdown was in his first NFL game against Indianapolis.

This season, he had no carries and two receptions over the first three preseason games.

Matt Schoch is a freelance writer