Impact of Joique Bell's injury on Lions' run game
As if the Lions’ league-worst rushing attack didn’t have enough problems, Detroit will face off against Seattle on Monday without running back Joique Bell (-1.6 overall). Bell is missing time due to an ankle injury.
Likely absorbing a majority of Bell’s carries will be rookie Ameer Abdullah (+0.1 overall). Among running backs who’ve played a minimum of 25 percent of the offensive snaps, Abdullah and Bell rank 43rd and 47th in elusive rating (out of 54 HBs). Between the two of them, they’ve forced two missed tackles—over half the running backs in the league single-handedly have at least five missed tackles forced.
Rookie Zach Zenner could also see some rushing attempts in Bell’s absence. Zenner has seen only two snaps in regular season play, gaining six yards. It is worth noting, however, that the former South Dakota State RB excelled in his preseason opportunities, earning a +2.9 overall grade (fourth-best in the league), two touchdowns, and 183 yards on 35 rushing attempts.
Former Notre Dame halfback Theo Riddick has seen nearly as many snaps this season as Bell, but has only one rushing attempt, contributing mainly through the air (+3.0 receiving grade).
Unfortunately for the Lions’ dismal ground attack, the Seahawks likely won’t provide any type of relief. Through Week 3, Seattle owns the No. 2-ranked rush defense in the NFL.