New RB Justin Forsett admits he was down on run vs. Detroit Lions
Now that he's a Detroit Lion, Justin Forsett finally can admit the truth about that Thanksgiving run.
"I was definitely down," Forsett said today.
Actually, Forsett has acknowledged that his knee hit the ground before, but that didn't stop the newest Lions running back from having a little fun with one of the most infamous plays in franchise history on his second day with the team.
Asked about the 2012 play, which stood as an 81-yard touchdown after then-Lions coach Jim Schwartz illegally tried to challenge the call on the field, Forsett first feigned forgetfulness.
"What are you talking about?" he said. "I don’t understand what you’re referring to."
Forsett's touchdown helped the Houston Texans beat the Lions that year -- the entire Lions defense stopped on the play, which should have been blown dead after an 8-yard gain -- and now the veteran running back says he's ready to help his new team rack up its own victories.
The Lions signed Forsett after a workout Tuesday, bolstering a backfield that has been thinned by injuries.
Starter Ameer Abdullah likely is out for the season with a foot injury he suffered in Week 2, rookie Dwayne Washington missed last weekend's win over the Philadelphia Eagles with a sprained ankle, and Washington and Theo Riddick did not practice today.
While both Riddick and Washington could play Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams (1 p.m., Fox), Lions coach Jim Caldwell said Forsett is a welcome addition to the offense.
"He’s been around a bit, so he’s got a good sense of systems," Caldwell said. "Obviously, he’s a guy that has had production. He’s certainly a guy who can create some space. He’s a tough runner, he can catch the ball. There’s a number of things that we think he’ll be able to do for us."
Forsett played briefly with the Indianapolis Colts in 2008, when Caldwell was an assistant, but didn't emerge as a full-time starter at running back until he gained 1,266 yards and eight touchdowns in 16 games with the Baltimore Ravens in 2014.
Last year, Forsett ran for 641 yards in 10 games before he broke his arm on a hit by Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald. This year, Forsett tumbled down the Ravens' depth chart before asking for his release last week.
"I think that we all wanted to run the ball well over in Baltimore," Forsett said. "Just couldn’t get the right scheme down or feel down, rhythm to the game. There was times when we wanted to run the ball 30 times a game but only ended up running it 10 or 15 times. So it was a little bit of everything. But I’m here now, and the sky’s the limit."
Forsett, who averaged just 3.2 yards per carry for the Ravens this season, likely will serve as the team's second or third running back when the group (minus Abdullah) is healthy.
He said he spent most of the first 24 hours after his signing buried in his new playbook.
"I’ve been playing a long time, so a lot of things, I can marry to some of the information I already had beforehand," Forsett said. "So I think I can pick it up fairly quickly."
And he had a two-word message for people who question what he has left as a football player two days shy of his 31st birthday: "Watch me."
"I always play with a chip on my shoulder," Forsett said. "I’m 5-8, 195 pounds, and a seventh-round draft pick. So nine years (in), and I still have a chip."
Contact Dave Birkett: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.