Michael Bennett: Zach Zenner is “just an amazing running back”
The Lions came into the season with designs on having Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick as their lead running backs, but injuries got in the way of that plan.
Abdullah only played in two games before a foot injury knocked him out for the season and Riddick missed six games, including the final four, with injuries before ultimately landing on injured reserve as well. Those losses have opened the door for Zach Zenner to play a larger than expected role down the stretch and he’s made an impression on Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett for a couple of reasons heading into Saturday’s game.
Bennett said he was surprised to see Zenner in the lineup because you don’t see a lot of white tailbacks, but that surprise faded when he watched him play.
“I think the running back, man, he’s -- there’s not many white running backs in the NFL but he has to be the best right now,” Bennett said, via the Detroit Free Press. “He’s doing such a great job of cutbacks and hitting the hole. He’s a really good back. I know all the stuff he did in college, three straight seasons of 2,000 yards. I don’t care where you’re at, if you can do that you have got amazing talent. And I think he’s just an amazing running back, the things he can do with the ball. He got good balance, he can spin, he can catch it out of the backfield. I think he fits the offense perfectly.”
A healthy Danny Woodhead might have led to a different conclusion on the white running back front, but it’s hard to come up with a better answer than Zenner on that front right now. That’s helped the Lions weather their injuries, but the running game hasn’t been their strong suit this season and it’s hard not to like the chances of Bennett and company keeping their offense one-dimensional even with Zenner in the spotlight.