The injury-plagued Lions are bringing back a familiar face.
Joique Bell, a running back who played for the Lions for the last five years, has re-signed with the team today.
Bell will provide some depth at running back after Dwayne Washington got hurt against the Saints on Sunday. Bell knows the Lions’ offense and had 311 rushing yards and 286 receiving yards for the Lions last season. Bell briefly played for the Bears this season but was released after having just three carries for six yards.
This comes mere days after the Lions hosted him for a workout last week. Detroit was trying to figure out how to replace Ameer Abdullah, whom the club reportedly fears could be lost for the season with a torn ligament in his foot, and kicked the tires on Bell with a workout. Now Bell will help replace Jeremy Langford who is expected to miss 4-6 week with a bad ankle. The Bears aren't sure of KaDeem Carey's status heading into this week and perhaps didn't want Jordan Howard to carry a large workload. Raheem Mostert was Chicago's only other back.
Riddick was already shaping up as a solid RB2 in PPR formats, and this cements his status. The Lions look to be more willing to hand the ball to Riddick than they have in the past. At 223 lbs and with good measurables, Dwayne Washington is worth an immediate pickup in all leagues as he is likely to take over the team's "big back" role. Joique Bell was the #14 RB in this role (#13 in PPR formats) in 2014, before Abdullah joined the team. We're not expecting that sort of upside for Washington with Riddick's expanded rushing role, but it's not out of the question. Zach Zenner becomes an interesting name to monitor, and the Lions also worked out Bell on Tuesday, but he'd likely serve as depth.
The Detroit Lions have cut running back Joique Bell, who entered the 2015 season as the team's top rusher.
Bell, 29, struggled with injuries throughout the 2015 season and was passed on the depth chart by rookie Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick. He gained a career-low 311 yards on 90 carries with four touchdowns.
That leaves the Lions with Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick and Zach Zenner at the position. Riddick should continue to produce in PPR formats while Abdullah and Zenner will compete for carries. The Lions may decide to address the position in the draft, but they have more pressing needs with Calvin Johnson's pending retirement.