Joique Bell did not work out Wednesday during the Lions’ first open organized team activities practice of the season, but afterwards didn’t seemed too concerned that he will be out long-term.
Bell would not specify what his injury is, but said the Instagram photo he posted with a wrap on his left knee was “just an ice wrap.” However, Bell said the injury that is keeping him out of the Lions’ practices is one he initially suffered last season.
“Just (a) nagging injury,” Bell said. “Something just nagging, nothing that will prevent me (from playing). I had it all last season, so you guys didn’t even really notice. But it’s something we just trying to get rid of before next season. So it’s just being smart.
“I could practice right now if they really wanted me to, but it’s up to them when they want to put me back in.”
The Lions hired Joe Lombardi (formerly of the Saints) to run the offense. The general consensus is that he’s going to run the ball more, but the Saints actually threw it more often than the Lions did in 2013 (from a pass/run standpoint). However, with the way team personnel are talking about the new offense, we’re relatively certain that he’s going to utilize Reggie Bush in more of a receiving role. Bush saw about 50% of the carries in 2013, while Bell’s number was called 37% of the time. Lombardi was in New Orleans during Bush’s stint there, so he was around while Bush’s average carries dropped from 13.1 in 2007 to a career low 4.5 in 2010, his final season with the Saints. Bush has had far more success running the ball post-Saints, averaging 4.6 YPC with the Dolphins and the Lions after posting a 4.0 YPC while in New Orleans. So while Bush probably won’t be ignored in the running game, the split could easily flip to Bell in a lead rushing role. Bell finished with 219 touches in 2013 (finishing as the #17 RB in standard formats) and the team just extended his contract, indicating that he’s a big part of their long-term offensive plan. As the #25 RB off the board in the 8th/9th round, he has some upside as a possible 230- to 250-touch running back. We're not too worried about the knee at this point in the offseason.