There has been no bigger star for the Buffalo Bills in two pre-season games than undrafted rookie running back Joique Bell. The Wayne State product, buried on the depth chart behind two excellent veterans and first-round pick C.J. Spiller, has been dominant in his first two NFL appearances, rushing for 132 yards at a whopping 8.3 yards per carry, with a touchdown in each game.
Bell has begun to draw notice from national league pundits, with Doug Farrar (Football Outsiders) the latest to point out Bell's stellar pre-season numbers. "Through his first two preseason games, he has scored two touchdowns, amassed eight yards per carry on 16 carries, and established that C.J. Spiller isn't the only young back on the Bills worth watching," writes Farrar.
Our own Jeff Winters profiled Bell all the way back in May, claiming even then that Bell could be a surprise roster addition for a team that was clearly loaded at running back. Nothing has changed since then; Fred Jackson, Marshawn Lynch and Spiller are firmly entrenched atop the depth chart, and Bell is certainly making a strong case for inclusion on the final roster as a fourth runner and a special teams player.
For now, I'll stick to what I said over the weekend: Buffalo's coaches would feel a lot more comfortable keeping Bell on the roster if he didn't look so out of his element on special teams. But clearly, Bell's is a name to pay close attention to over the next two weeks.