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Joique Bell to wear No. 44, pay tribute to Jahvid Best

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The Lions ‘new’ running back is paying tribute to a former back.

Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Joique Bell met with the Detroit media for the first time since re-signing with the Lions on Tuesday. Bell was beaming with excitement in the locker room and seemed genuinely happy to be with his home team again.

“It’s great. Everything has fallen in line,” Bell said to a room full of reporters. “It’s funny that my first week back here is the same week that I graduate from Wayne State with my masters.”

Bell grew up in Benton Harbor, Michigan, where he also went to high school. After going undrafted in 2010 after his college career at Wayne State, he jumped around on five different teams in a single year before landing with the Lions for five-straight seasons.

After contract negotiations broke down this offseason, Bell oddly found his way onto the Chicago Bears’ roster just days before they played the Lions. “It was funny just how everything went down,” Bell said, admitting that the Lions were simply trying to find a spot on the roster for him before the Bears grabbed him.

Interestingly enough, Bell will be wearing No. 44 for the team now. His previous number, 35, is now owned by rookie safety Miles Killebrew. So why 44? “Jahvid Best. I’ve got to represent for my boy who went to the Olympics this year,” Bell said.

Now that he has his number, he’ll be looking to find a role with the team. Dwayne Washington, who appeared to suffer a significant injury on Sunday, was practicing on Wednesday, but No. 1 running back Theo Riddick was not. We’ll see what kind of role Bell has going forward as the season winds down.