RB Joique Bell won't assume he is Detroit Lions' starter


Joique Bell ran the ball 223 times in 2014, but technically was not the Detroit Lions' starting tailback. That distinction went to the now-departed Reggie Bush.

With Bush gone, Bell is the presumed starter.

At least presumed by everyone but Bell.

"I think that's something you have to talk to coach (Jim) Caldwell about," Bell said, per the Detroit Free Press. "He knows the depth chart better than I do. I can't give out false (estimations) right now."

The Lions drafted Ameer Abdullah in the second round as a shifty replacement for Bush. The Theo Riddick hype train has also been steadily rolling this offseason.

"We'll see when the season gets here," Bell added of the starting gig. "I don't plan out the roles. I go out to do what the team needs."

We expect Bell to be the starter and take the majority of goal line carries, but his attempts should fall from that 220 range. Abdullah should cut into those carries in an early-down rotation with Riddick playing a pass-catching back on third downs who can split to the slot.

"The thing about it, we don't have two guys the same, for the most part," Caldwell said of his backfield. "They all have a little different sort of strength and we can utilize that. You know, Joique is a power back who also can get on the edge and he can catch the ball out of the backfield. Theo is probably a little bit more of an edge guy. I'm not saying he can't run inside, but he's along the edge a little bit more. So, you know, those are different players. I think when you get a chance to see Ameer, you'll kind of see what his style is as well. He's pretty versatile."

The versatility from Abdullah should eat into Bell's carries, even if the veteran remains the starter.

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