Abdullah, who was the Lions' second-round pick of the 2015 NFL Draft, hasn't played much on offense this season and lost a fumble on a kickoff return two weeks ago.
The 25-year-old Abdullah has seen rookie Kerryon Johnson, LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick primarily handle the rushing responsibilities this season. Abdullah has one rush for one yard and two catches for 18 yards while playing in three games.
Abdullah rushed for 552 yards while starting 11 of 14 games last season, but he only had two contests with at least 20 carries while he was limited to 11 or fewer attempts eight times.
The 5-foot-9, 203-pound Abdullah rushed for a career-best 597 yards as a rookie but played in just two games in 2016 before sustaining a foot injury that landed him on season-ending injured reserve.
Ellington began the season with the Houston Texans and had eight catches for 92 yards before being placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. The Texans released Ellington from injured reserve last week, making him a free agent.
The 27-year-old Ellington has 56 receptions for 637 yards and five touchdowns in 40 career games with the San Francisco 49ers and Texans.