Print and Go Back NFC South [Print without images]

Wednesday, September 21, 2011
RB Joique Bell in limbo, Will Smith returns

By Pat Yasinskas

As expected, New Orleans defensive end Will Smith returned to practice Wednesday after serving a two-game suspension.

Getting their top pass rusher back is only going to help the Saints’ defense. Rookie Cameron Jordan, Turk McBride and Junior Galette all did well in Smith’s absence and that gives the Saints some depth at this position.

The downside of getting Smith back is that the Saints had to waive running back Joique Bell. It’s likely the Saints want Bell back on their practice squad, but he would have to clear waivers for that to happen.

That might be a challenge. Bell got a lot of playing time in the preseason and put out a lot of good film for other teams to watch. There might be other teams around the league interested in him.

I can think of one NFC South team that should be interested in Bell. That’s the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They’re still unsettled as far as a third-down back. Bell could handle that role and also could serve as a speedy change-of-pace back when paired with LeGarrette Blount.

We’ll find out around 4 p.m. ET if Bell cleared waivers or if the Bucs or another team picked him up.