The announcement of Joique Bell’s signing with the Detroit Lions was widely received with a raising of an eyebrow. According to the Detroit Free Press this is more than a procedural move:
Bell, who will sign his contract today pending a physical, said the Lions want him to come in and be ready for the playoff run. He said he expects to get some carries in Sunday’s regular-season finale at Green Bay.
The move might be surprising but I see logical ramifications for the short and long term.
The most immediate expectation is that Maurice Morris and Joique Bell will carry the load against the Green Bay Packers while Kevin Smith rests his ankle to be ready for the playoffs.
The Lions will also have a lot of decisions to make at the running back position during the off-season and it appears that Bell could be part of the plans considering he arrives in Detroit on a two-year deal. The lack of guaranteed contracts in the NFL means a contract isn’t necessarily worth the paper it is printed on but it does give the Lions the ability to hold on to Bell through off-season.
Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure return from injury and the Lions would be wise to enter the 2012 season prepared for the possibility that Best can’t stay healthy for an entire season.
The possibility that the Lions move on without Maurice Morris in 2012 is a real option as well. He is 32 and was passed on the depth chart when Kevin Smith returned so it is reasonable to wonder where he fits in the Lions plans when the backfield is healthy.
It remains to be seen how Joique Bell fits in the picture but the Lions have a lot to consider at running back and this puts him in the mix.
Here is a Joique Bell highlights video from his days at Wayne State: