LIONS INSIDER

No timetable set for Joique Bell's return

Posted Jul 31, 2015

The Lions are hoping running back Joique Bell’s stay on the PUP list is a short one, but head coach Jim Caldwell said Friday no timetable has been set for his return.

After missing the entire offseason training program while recovering from knee and Achilles procedures, running back Joique Bell will remain sidelined to start training camp as he was placed on the PUP list this week.

Joique BellRB Joique Bell (Photo: Detroit Lions)

Bell, 28, is expected to play a big role in Joe Lombardi's offense after leading the team in rushing attempts (223), yards (860) and rushing touchdowns (7) a season ago. The Lions are hoping he, rookie second-round pick Ameer Abdullah and a revamped offensive line can greatly improve the league’s 28th-ranked rushing attack from a season ago.

The Lions are hoping Bell’s stay on the PUP list is a short one, but head coach Jim Caldwell said Friday no timetable has been set for his return to the field.

“I’m not sure how long it’s going to take,” he told beat reporters. “I do know one thing, he is coming along quickly and we’ll see what the doctor says. Can’t put an exact timetable on it right now.”

Bell is a veteran player who has a year in the system under his belt, which should limit some of the concern from the Lions' standpoint. There’s no need to rush him back before he’s ready.

“From a schematic standpoint he knows and understands how to run the ball,” Caldwell said. “He knows the system. We’re just majorly concerned right now with obviously getting him healthy and he’s well on his way to that.”

Bell’s absence during OTAs and the minicamp allowed Abdullah to split first-team reps with Theo Riddick, which should help the rookie hit the ground running when the Lions begin on-the-field workouts Monday.

“We feel good about where he is, what he’s done, the ability he has,” Caldwell said of Abdullah. “The evaluation process continues.”

Caldwell cautioned that it’s tough for young players to come into this league and stand out. The Lions certainly like where Abdullah is at, but realize he has a lot of work left in front of him.

Getting Bell healthy and bringing Abdullah along at a steady pace appear to be two main goals for the Lions backfield as they head into training camp.