Joique Bell and the Detroit Lions have been stuck in a will-they-won’t-they relationship in 2016. After the Lions released the local running back in February, the two have been in back-and-forth contact. Most recently, the Lions brought Bell in for a visit after placing Ameer Abdullah on the injured reserve list last week. Bell ended up leaving Allen Park without a contract.
Now Joique is headed to one of the Lions’ biggest rivals, the Chicago Bears. According to Rand Getlin, the veteran running back is signing with the Bears on Tuesday.
The Lions face the Bears this week, so one may think this is simply Chicago trying to grab some intel from Bell, but Chicago is also in desperate need of a running back. Jeremy Langford suffered an ankle sprain in the Sunday night game against the Dallas Cowboys, and that leaves the Bears with rookie Jordan Howard as their No. 1 back. While Howard has looked decent in his first two career games—he has averaged 5.6 yards per carry on 12 rushes—the Bears don’t have any proven depth beyond him.
The cynic in me is afraid Bell will go off on the Lions this Sunday with the extra motivation to beat his former team that refused to sign him. However, the realistic outlook of this situation is that Bell will simply be the backup on Sunday and will likely only see a handful of carries.
Either way, we’re happy to see Joique get some work, even if it is with the Bears.
UPDATE: Bell confirmed the signing on Instagram Tuesday afternoon: