Lions’ Joique Bell anxious to return
During Lions training camp and in Thursday’s exhibition win over the New York Jets, running back Ameer Abdullah has looked like a player capable of handling a starting role in the NFL.
After watching Abdullah scamper for 67 yards on seven carries and quarterback Matthew Stafford lead a flawless drive, Lions running back Joique Bell is starting to get antsy to make his return from the physically unable to perform list.
“Just seeing all my teammates out there, it makes me anxious (and) want to get back out,” Bell told reporters Saturday. “(I’m) sitting on the sidelines (Thursday) like, wow, my guys are out here ballin’.”
“That kind of inspired me to want to get back quicker, but we have to take our time with these things. And that’s what I’m doing and what I’m going to continue to do.”
Bell underwent minor knee and Achilles tendon surgeries in January after dealing with both ailments during the 2014 regular season. He finished last season with 223 carries for 860 yards and averaged at least 4 yards per carry in seven of the final eight regular season games.
Though Bell has ramped up his activity with trainers during camp, he has yet to practice with the team and has declined multiple questions asking for updates about his injury status.
“I don’t know,” he said Saturday. “I think coach (Jim) Caldwell has to know something on that one, so you guys might have to chop it up with him.”
The Lions still expect Bell to return before the regular season, and despite Abdullah’s impressive performance, Bell will likely remain the top back to open the season. However, if Abdullah continues to play well, he could earn a larger role early than expected, though Bell would still be the top option near the goal line.
And as plenty of people jump on Abdullah’s bandwagon, Bell said he’s been impressed by the second-round pick.
“It’s no hype, man,” Bell said. “The kid’s the real deal.”