ROB PARKER: Lions need to see Abdullah before season, RB might play vs. Ravens on Saturday

ROB PARKER: Lions need to see Abdullah before season, RB might play vs. Ravens on Saturday
Posted at 1:45 PM, Aug 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-26 14:53:29-04

In honor of the late, great Joe Falls, it's a Fish Fry Friday.

The Lions play their third exhibition game on Saturday night against the Ravens in Baltimore.

All eyes will be on Lions' running back Ameer Abdullah. Will he or won't play? That's the big question going in. So far, Lions coach Jim Caldwell hasn't committed either way. The Lions' run game definitely needs his help. They are counting on Abdullah to be the team's lead back this coming season.

The second-year pro, however, hasn't appeared in a game since 2015. Abdullah had offseason shoulder surgery. To say the least, the Lions have been careful in his return.

With the season quickly approaching, some believe that this will be the week that the 23-year-old will finally see some game action again. "It bothers me a lot," Abdullah said about his lack of action this preseason. Abdullah led the Lions in rushing his rookie season. But it seems crazy that he wouldn't see any game action until the opener against the Indianapolis Colts.

Hence, Abdullah wants game action as soon as possible. "Everything's about repetition in life," he said. "You can't expect to do well on a test if you haven't studied. I'll be tested against Indianapolis so I hope I can get to play (in the preseason) but if I don't have the opportunity I'm going to trust what the coaches have in store for me and just do my best when the time comes."

Tigers must feast
The Tigers, inconsistent all season, have to find a way to play better for an important stretch to say in the playoff race.

When they started this current nine-game stretch against subpar teams, most believed they needed to go at least 7-2. So far, so good. The Tigers completed a sweep over the lowly Twins in Minnesota on Thursday. Tonight, they start a three-game set back home against one of the worst teams in the American League, the Los Angeles Angels (54-73). The Tigers (68-59) could use another sweep.

They entered Friday night 4.5 games behind the Cleveland Indians in the Central Division. The bats are alive again. In their current four-game win streak, they have scored 35 runs, at least eight in each game.

"To come into any town and sweep them is tough to do," Tigers' manager Brad Ausmus said to the media after the game. "It's just the nature of the game. But our bats started getting hot and the pitching held up.

"I'd like to see them keep rolling. we've got Anaheim coming in. That's how this team is built. It's built to slug."

An Open Letter to Dwight Gooden:

Dear Doc,

The recent New York Daily News picture of you rail-thin made me believe that life is, indeed, tough right now and you're in a bad place.

When loved ones - including former teammate Darryl Strawberry - come out publicly and say that you have started using cocaine again, it's hard to ignore.

And we get that you want to put out this pubic fire. It's definitely that reason you spoke to the Daily News on Monday afternoon from your Jersey City apartment. And you denied Strawberry's claim and proclaimed that you are doing fine.

"There's a lot more to the story than you'd think," Gooden told the Daily News. "I respect you coming by, it's your job.

"But I'm going to make a written statement. It'll be best for my family and for me. I'm doing good. Unfortunately, I just have to deal with this mess. It happens."

Most wish they could believe you, that words on a piece of paper could eliminate the danger you appear to be in.
We all know both you and Darryl have been through Hell since bursting on the baseball scene in NYC with the Mets in the 80s.

Both of you have had issues with drugs and alcohol. You both spent time in prison. And through all the bad  times, it's hard to remember once when Darryl said a bad word about you, put you and your business on full blast.
It's so telling.

Strawberry seems hopeless, fearful for you. "I have to try something before he's dead," Strawberry said.
I know you are mad, furious at Darryl. You said your ending your friendship with him. You said this to the New York Post.

Straw isn't alone with sounded the alarm, Doc. Friends and your family are also concerned that your current condition is dire.

If it's true, please get help.

Trust me. Many more are rooting for you now than when you were the best pitcher in the game.