Although much of the focus at running back will be on the potential competition for the starting job between Joique Bell and Ameer Abdullah, that isn't the only battle set to take place at the position for the Detroit Lions. Once you move down the depth chart and get past Bell, Abdullah and Theo Riddick, there is one additional spot expected to be up for grabs at running back. The player in the No. 4 running back spot will likely see more playing time on special teams than anything unless injuries pile up, but this should still be a pretty interesting position battle to watch during training camp.
Leading off the battle for the No. 4 running back spot is George Winn, who quickly went from being a camp body to a member of the practice squad to a member of the 53-man roster last year. Winn's prowess on special teams initially earned him a spot on the practice squad, and when a spot on the active roster opened up, he was given a promotion. He only carried the ball 19 times for 73 yards in 12 games, but his abilities on special teams kept him consistently active on game day.
The two players looking to unseat Winn as the No. 4 running back are undrafted free agents Zach Zenner and Desmond Martin. Zenner in particular is an intriguing player given that he rushed for more than 6,500 yards in college at South Dakota State. He also scored 61 touchdowns on the ground and added more than 900 yards and eight touchdowns through the air. Martin, meanwhile, is hoping to be the next Bell after playing his college ball in Detroit at Wayne State.
Who has the edge right now?
Considering Winn has already shown that he can reliably contribute on special teams, he's definitely the early favorite for the final spot at running back. Perhaps if Zenner shows enough skills on offense, he will force the Lions to keep him no matter what happens on special teams, but this spot really feels like it is going to come down to which player does the most on kick and punt coverage.