The Lions have released running back Stevan Ridley, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press tweets. Ridley had been relegated to second half duty in the first two preseason games, so today’s move doesn’t come as a massive surprise. The Lions will be on the hook for some cash as $250k of his $840k total compensation was fully guaranteed.
Ridley, a five-year veteran, was expected to challenge Zach Zenner for the “big back” role on offense but played just nine snaps in the Lions’ Thursday night preseason game last week. Ridley was also being counted on to provide NFL experience to a group that was lacking it with the Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick at the helm.
A former third-round pick, Ridley averaged 5.1 yards per carry in limited action during his rookie season in 2011, then exploded for 1,263 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012. However, fumbling issues landed him on the bench in New England, and a devastating ACL/MCL injury limited him in both 2014 and 2015.
After spending his first four years in the NFL with the Patriots, Ridley signed with the Jets last season, but didn’t see the field all that much after coming off the PUP list. With Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell handling the majority of the workload out of the backfield, Ridley took over for Zac Stacy as the No. 3 back and earned just 36 carries, totaling only 90 yards for a career-worst 2.5 yards per attempt.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.