2015 Detroit Lions Roster Analysis: Running Backs

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Jan 4, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Detroit Lions running back Joique Bell (35) carries the ball past Dallas Cowboys middle linebacker Rolando McClain (55) and Kyle Wilber (51) during the first quarter in the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory


: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

No. 35 Joique Bell

Age: 28

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 220

College: Wayne State University

Looking back to 2014– When Reggie Bush proved unable to stay healthy, Bell assumed the starting role for the Lions backfield and rushed for a career best 860 yards and seven touchdowns on 223 carries. Bell’s fumbles were better on a per-attempt basis from 2013, after carrying the ball a career-high last season.

The increase in carries may have  lead to the injuries to his knee and Achilles which were severe enough to be operated on this offseason.

Looking ahead to 2015-Whether the injuries Bell sustained are due to the increase in carries, his age, or was just a freak thing remains to be seen, but the running back by committee approach should help keep him fresh and in turn help him increase his yards per attempt efficiency which was only 3.9 last season. With Bell missing the first part of OTA’s, Abdullah has been receiving first-team reps which gives the rookie an inside chance to usurp Bell as the week one starter–something I thought would happen about mid-season. The term starter may end up being used loosely depending on how well Abdullah runs in comparison to the Bell and Riddick. As Jim Caldwell stated, the Lions running backs may be too good to keep off the field.

Assuming Bell is 100 percent or close to it week one, another 1,000 yards between rushing/receiving is a safe bet, though his 300 receiving yards could take a dip with Abdullah and Riddick such capable receivers out of the backfield.

Next: The Rookie