Detroit Lions Add Depth At Linebacker with Nick Bellore
The Detroit Lions signed Nick Bellore, an inside linebacker, today. Bellore, who played his college ball at Central Michigan University (Fire up, Chips!), started 10 games last year for the San Francisco 49ers.
According to NFL.com, Bellore appeared in 14 games in 2016. He recorded 83 combined tackles (60 solo), one sack, one interception and five pass deflections. The site also states that he has amassed 161 combined tackles in his career.
As a fellow Chippewa, I remember watching Bellore play at Kelly/Shorts Stadium in Mount Pleasant, and he absolutely dominated. Granted, that was against Mid-American Conference competition, but I knew then he was an NFL-caliber player. He was a four-year starter at CMU, and earned three consecutive first team All-MAC honors from 2008 through 2010.
Bellore began his NFL career in 2011, signing with the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent. He played in New York for four seasons, and appeared in all 16 games for each of those seasons. He then signed with San Francisco in 2015.
While Bellore is not likely a candidate to start for the Lions in 2017, he adds depth to an absolutely depleted positional group. He also is a tremendous player on special teams, which is where he’s gotten the majority of his playing time at throughout his career.
However, Bellore proved he has the ability and wherewithal to step up and start, as he did for the 49ers when injuries derailed their linebacking corps as well in 2016. NaVorro Bowman, star middle linebacker, only appeared in four games last season before an Achilles injury ended his season.
Bellore was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, but played his high school ball in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. The details of his contract were not yet disclosed.
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