Lions running back Joique Bell hasn't practiced since undergoing minor procedures on his knee and Achilles in January, per However, Bell and coach Jim Caldwell have recently said a return is close, and Bell deemed his rehab schedule "preventative."

Bell struggled through the first half of last season, averaging 3.2 yards per carry. But after the team's bye, he improved to 4.4 yards per carry. Bell is confident he can be that second-half back all season.

"This year, I expect to come into the season healthy," he said. "I think I can be that guy when I get back."

The Lions are expecting Bell to be the primary running back once he is healthy.

"I can just tell you that there are no guarantees," Caldwell said. "You just don't know in this league. He's young, he's strong, he's one of those guys that has always been a workhorse, and we fully expect him to come back and be what he was last year for us, and that was a bell cow.

"He was a tough, hard-nosed guy that set a great tone for us, so we're anticipating that exact same sort of effort. He feels he's close, so I feel good about that."

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