It turns out the Detroit Lions may not have a fullback competition brewing after all. During Wednesday’s practice, seventh-round rookie fullback Nick Bawden suffered an injury during a special teams drill. Based on initial reports from media on hand, it didn’t look very good for Bawden.
“He laid on the field for several minutes, and drew a crowd of team personnel around him,” wrote MLive’s Kyle Meinke. “He was eventually helped off the field, then was examined for several more minutes by doctors before eventually making his way under his own power to the locker room.”
Unfortunately, the injury appears to be as bad as it looked. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Lions are worried that Bawden has suffered a torn ACL, which would end his rookie season before it even really began:
The #Lions fear rookie FB Nick Bawden suffered a torn ACL in practice today, source said. Happened in a special teams drill. Seventh-round pick’s season appears to be over.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) June 6, 2018
The Lions were looking to increase the role of a fullback in this year’s offense after using it very sparingly in 2017.
“Just something we kind of wanted to add to the mix to kind of give our offense a little bit more of, I’d say, a physical presence,” general manager Bob Quinn said after drafting Bawden.
The Lions’ rookie was expected to compete with Nick Bellore, who is currently transitioning from the linebacker position, but has had some experience at fullback, including with the Lions in a limited role last year.
Now it appears the job is Bellore’s to lose. If the news is as bad as these initial reports suggest, there is always the possibility of the Lions adding another fullback to compete with Bellore. For now, let’s just hope for the best for Bawden.