Ever since joining the NFL as an undrafted rookie in 2011, Nick Bellore has thought of himself as a linebacker. Though he mostly contributed on special teams for the next six seasons, he was still considered to be a backup or rotational linebacker during his stints with the Jets and 49ers.
However, that’s all changing now that he’s a Detroit Lion.
Last year, Bellore joined the Lions to fill out some linebacker depth. He even got a fair share of playing time when the injury bug hit the linebacking corps. But as the season wore on, the Lions started to find a new role for Bellore: fullback.
This wasn’t the first time he was utilized as a fullback. When he was in New York, the Jets toyed with the idea, but he was still considered a reserve linebacker first.
The Lions utilized Bellore as a fullback for 13 snaps in 2017, but he could be making the full transition to the offensive backfield this season. The Detroit Lions’ official team roster now lists Bellore as a fullback, not a linebacker (hat tip to Twitter user @TheHonoluluBlue for pointing this out).
During the first week of OTAs, media noted that Bellore was in an offensive jersey and took most of his reps on that side of the ball. This change on the roster all but confirms that Bellore will compete for the fullback job this offseason.
Bellore will have to beat out Nick Bawden, who was the Lions’ seventh-round selection in this year’s draft. That’s right, Lions fans. We’ve officially got ourselves a fullback camp battle.