Ameer Abdullah missed nearly the entire 2016 season with a foot injury but it appears he's healthy and ready to go for the 2017 season. The Detroit Lions certainly believe he is ready to lead the team on the ground. They named him their starting running back earlier this spring and further showed their dedication to him by refusing to draft a back (despite 30 running backs getting drafted). They also didn't go after any of the big name free agents on the market this winter. It's clear that Abdullah felt the team's confidence in him and he's mirrored that in comments he recently made to the media.

"I don't really care what really happened, because I feel like I'm a better player than whoever they were going to bring in," Abdullah told the gathered reporters at a recent event, according to He added that it didn't matter to me that the Lions didn't add anyone and that it was just him "being a player and a competitor."

Confidence is key for Ameer Abdullah

The former Nebraska football star has had a bit of a rocky road since he joined the NFL. The Lions have been looking for Abdullah to take the lead and carry the rock as their every down back. He was expected to be doing that in 2016 until the injury bug bit hard. While some might see his comments on Wednesday night as a bit too brash for someone who has a very limited career so far, it's a good sign for the former Husker and shows he's likely feeling better than he has since he hit the pros.

When talking about the game of football, a player who has any doubts at all they can do the job, is a player that cannot do the job. It's also clear the Lions really don't have anyone better. Abdullah performed well before the injury, rushing for 101 yards on 18 carries in one game. Detroit hit the century mark in rushing yards just one time in the team's other 15 games.

The Lions were third in the league in yards per carry when Abdullah was doing the carrying. They were 27th without him.

Abdullah the rising star

The Detroit Lions are not alone in thinking Abdullah is going to be something special. The NFLPA just released their list of 50 players they believe are rising stars. The former Nebraska football stud is right smack dab in the middle of that list.

If Ameer Abdullah can stay healthy, he might even be able to lead the Detroit Lions in a campaign to unseat the Green Bay Packers. If he suffers another setback, that confidence and a bit of cockiness is going to get some backlash.