The Lions are pretty excited about Abdullah, and rightfully so. He’s looked really good this first week of camp.
But don’t discount what Joique Bell can bring to the table behind a more consistent and athletic offensive line this year. Bell had to scratch and claw his way from team to team and practice squad to practice squad before finally getting his shot. A guy like that plays with an edge. A player like that has value.
Bell told me recently he’s finally pain-free for the first time in a couple years and motivated to have a great season.
Running backs coach Curtis Modkins likes the running back by committee style and Bell will have an important role as a tough, hard-nosed runner inside. Abdullah is a big-play threat with speed and agility and will be a nice complement to Bell's tougher running style.
I expect that the reps will fluctuate between the two depending on the weekly matchup, but it's unlikely we ever see a 3-to-1 or 2-to-1 ratio one over the other if both stay healthy.
We currently project a 217-to-194 ratio for Bell and Abdullah, so that falls in line with what Twentyman believes will happen once the regular season begins. Abdullah gets the nod in PPR formats, but Bell has the edge in our standard rankings.