As the offseason winds down, we're going to project each position on the Detroit Lions depth chart and also take a look at some training camp battles. Next up is the running back position.
Starter: Joique Bell | Top backup: Ameer Abdullah | Third string: Theo Riddick
The three players listed above are set to be a part of the Lions' running back committee this year. Joique Bell is expected to open the season as the starter as long as he's healthy, and second-round pick Ameer Abdullah is expected to contribute quite a bit as well. Abdullah could develop into a starter as the season progresses, and he may end up getting a starting-caliber number of snaps even as the "top backup." Also, Theo Riddick is once again in the No. 3 role, and his main contributions will likely come in the passing game.
Fourth string: George Winn | Other players: Zach Zenner, Desmond Martin
The rest of the players on the depth chart are entering training camp fighting for likely only one spot on the 53-man roster. George Winn is the incumbent after emerging as the No. 4 running back last year, and that was based on his contributions on special teams more than anything. For Winn to lose that job to either Zach Zenner or Desmond Martin, they will have to outperform him on both offense and special teams, and I don't see that happening.
Featured camp battle: Joique Bell vs. Ameer Abdullah for the starting RB job
Other camp battles to watch: George Winn vs. Zach Zenner vs. Desmond Martin for the final spot at RB
The two camp battles at this position revolve around the top and bottom of the depth chart. As covered above, three players are battling for the fourth and likely final spot at running back, and Bell and Abdullah are set to compete for the starting job. It seems unlikely that a veteran like Bell will go into the season as something other than the starter unless he's injured, but it's likely only a matter of time until Abdullah jumps into the actual starting role.