Caldwell: Lions RB Bell well on his way to being healthy


Joique Bell's health remains in question as the Detroit Lions report to training camp this weekend.

Coach Jim Caldwell said Friday that there is no timetable for Bell's return from knee and Achilles procedures this offseason.

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"From a schematic standpoint, he understands and knows how to run the ball, he knows the system," Caldwell said, per the Detroit Free Press. "We're just majorly concerned right now with, obviously, getting him healthy, and he's well on his way to that."

Whether Bell is in good enough shape to start training camp remains to be seen after offseason concerns boiled up.

"Like I said, I'm not sure how long it's going to take (with Bell)," Caldwell said. "I do know one thing, that he's coming along quickly, and we'll see what the doctor says. I can't put an exact timetable on it right now. That's the tough thing about even talking about medical. Sometimes you don't know."

The Lions plan to focus on the ground game more in 2015 than in previous years, which makes Bell's health an important factor. Down the stretch of last season the 28-year-old back looked worn down.

After compiling 389 carries over the last two seasons and averaging just 3.9 yards per carry, it's clear that the former undrafted free agent shouldn't be a workhorse back. Bell is much more effective when as the second option in a committee.

Ameer Abdullah is the back to watch during training camp and preseason. The rookie's combination of speed and tackle-breaking ability should allow him to become the go-to back for the Lions at some point during the regular season. 

The Lions need a healthy Bell, but they also need someone to take the load off the veteran.

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