From the Bench: Joseph Fauria and Joique Bell

Everyone loves a good comeback kid story. Especially lifelong fans, like myself, of the currently 4-2 Detroit Lions. After all the offseason hype, including Calvin Johnson’s encore to his record-breaking 2012-13 season and the addition of Reggie Bush, fans had a lot to look forward to.

While Adrian Peterson’s touchdown run within the first few minutes of the season may have brought back nostalgia of sloppy, penalty-ridden defense, despite all of its raw talent, this year’s season has had two surprises. Aside from the mega-stars, two players have stood out in particular.

Wayne State’s own Joique Bell was there to quickly recover the missed points with two touchdowns of his own. Who could forget him climbing into the crowd (in his Detroit take on the Lambeau leap)?

The question is, however, who is Joique Bell?

Going undrafted in 2010, Bell signed with the Buffalo Bills. He then bounced around the NFL from practice squad to practice squad, only playing in a total of five games with the Indianapolis Colts. After playing for five teams within just the 2010-11 season alone, Bell must have been relieved to sign with the team in his home state, the Detroit Lions.

His presence and impressive showing in the team’s opener against the Minnesota Vikings gives confidence to fans that Detroit’s run game is serious. Although after Bush’s week two injury, Bell’s performance has only included one touchdown, hope still lives. Bell’s current rib injury from the Browns game doesn’t look serious and Bush is healthy enough to once again lead the team’s rushing, leaving Bell to do what he did, get the yards when it counts.

Also notably hurt is the Lions’ passing game. Despite three notably banged up key players, Johnson, Bush, and Nate Burleson (who has returned to practice), the team is still winning. To help the offensive effort, bench players like Joseph Fauria have stepped up.

Like Bell, Fauria also went undrafted. After his final season at UCLA, the 6’7 and 255 lb. tight end signed on with the Lions in April of 2013. With a total of only 9 targets, Fauria has still managed to score five touchdowns in just three games. Playing behind Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler, Fauria’s tale is one more piece of evidence that the Lions’ bench has depth.


Colin Jackson is a Multi-Media Journalist for Impact Sports.

Photo: Detroit Lions