Bell sat out all offseason practices after undergoing surgery for an issue that he has yet to divulge. But Bell did have problems with his knee and Achilles last year.
He should be set as the No. 1 option out of the backfield in 2015 after the release of Reggie Bush, though rookie second-round pick Ameer Abdullah could push him.
Bell has made a rather lofty prediction for 2015, particularly for a guy that has never rushed for more than 860 yards in a season. He claims he will exceed that by plenty.
"I'm going to rush for over 1,200 yards," he told MLive.com. "That's the minimum. If I do less than that, I'll be surprised. I'll be disappointed. Anything more than that, I wouldn't be surprised at all."
Bell averaged a mediocre 3.9 yards per carry in both of the last two years.
Abdullah has received a good look with expected featured back
"I like Abdullah more every day," Lombardi told the Detroit Free Press. "He's a real pro, and every day, you can see him do things that actually excite you.
The second-round pick out of Nebraska has handled punt and kickoff return duties and has played mostly with the second team in OTAs. He has also flashed as a pass-catcher.
"He didn't get a chance, maybe, to show everything he can do as a receiver at Nebraska, but he's even better in that phase of the game than I thought when we drafted him," Lombardi said. "So it was kind of a bonus."
"I think you're always concerned," offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi told MLive.com. "But the doctors and he all tell us that he's going to be able to come back.
"Really, I think your biggest concern is just is he going to be able to get in the shape that you wanted to at the beginning of camp? But we'll be careful with him and smart and ramp him up as we go."
Bell was the lone shining light in the backfield for Detroit a year ago. He finished with a career-high 860 yards rushing on 223 carries and exceeded 4.0 yards per carry in the second half.
His mere availability for the OTA is encouraging, however, given the minor surgeries he underwent in the offseason.
Bell came on strong at the end of last year and finished with 860 yards and a 3.9 yards-per-carry average.
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