The Detroit Lions were missing a slew of players at practice today, and one of the more notable absences on the offensive side of the ball was that of running back Joique Bell, who suffered an ankle injury last week. In the fourth quarter of the loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bell left the field and did not return. Jim Schwartz downplayed the injury after the game, but Bell was reportedly limping and said he was “sore”. The verdict? There was just about no chance of him re-entering the game after the ankle injury.
According to Lions official site beat writer Tim Twentyman, Bell was not present at practice for the Lions today, but he wasn’t expected to practice to start the week anyway. At this point, he seems to be on track to play this week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the Lions could hold him out if they aren’t sold on the health of his ankle. Not only are the Bucs a light team, but the Lions are focused on the big NFC North showdown with the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving. It’s a short-week game with big playoff ramifications, so they are likely less inclined to risk anything with Bell (even if the Packers aren’t quite themselves right now and probably won’t have Aaron Rodgers out there in Week 13).
Bell’s status for Week 12 is completely up in the air at this point, but I would tentatively expect him to play against the Bucs. Still, the Lions will most likely severely restrict his workload, which makes Reggie Bush an even better fantasy start and Bell somebody to avoid starting in fantasy leagues.