Nov 26, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions running back Joique Bell (35) celebrates his touchdown during the fourth quarter of a NFL game on Thanksgiving against the Philadelphia Eagles at Ford Field. Detroit won 45-14. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Joique Bell looked like a revelation in limited action in 2012 but has looked more like a once good story that is reaching the end.
It was a feel good story for the Michigan kid who attended Wayne State and once worked as a security guard at Ford Field to keep fighting until he reached his goal of becoming an NFL running back – and with the Lions no less. But after finishing below 4.0 yards per carry in 2013 and 2014, Bell has slumped even further to below 3.0 yards per carry in 2015.
Bell publicly stated a goal of 1,200 rushing yards for this season but he will be lucky to finish halfway there. He has lost some playing time to injury but the gap between Bell’s goal and where he ends up will be a result of much more than that.
He remains a versatile threat as a capable receiver but he has seen his reception totals drop each of the last two years as well. The Lions now have more productive options with Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick and Zach Zenner gives them a cheap, young player who brings a similar skill set as Bell with much more upside.
Like Pettigrew, the Lions can move on from Bell with little impact to the offense and save money against next year’s salary cap – a total of $2.5 million after accounting for dead money.
Next: C.J. Wilson