Detroit Lions Rookie FB Nick Bawden Injures His ACL At Minicamp

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A Look At The Implications Of The Nick Bawden Injury.

Today at the Detroit Lions’ minicamp, Nick Bawden appeared to have the Lions’ first serious injury of the year. It’s a horrible tragedy for a young man fighting for a spot on the team after being the seventh round pick of the Detroit Lions this past April. As first reported by reporter Kyle Meinke, the injury happened while working in special teams drills. If the injury is a torn ACL, as many seem to think, Nick Bawden could be out for the rest of the season. This would unfortunately seriously impact his chances of making the team.

Expectations for Nick Bawden

For years the Lions haven’t used a traditional fullback. The Lions drafted Nick Bawden this offseason in an effort to improve a terrible 2017 running game. Scouts loved his soft hands (30 receptions his last two years at San Diego St.) and his impressive blocking resume that included his work as the lead blocker for first round pick Rashaad Penny. Our full scouting report is here.

This news comes on the heels of reports that the Lions moved linebacker/fullback Nick Bellore to fullback full-time. Many viewed Nick Bawden as the front-runner given Bellore’s lack of extensive experience at the position. However, for a position that lacks a ton of snap usage, special teams value was always going to be a factor.

State of the Lions’ Fullback Position

While this is obviously a remarkably devastating situation for Nick Bawden, it definitely increases the odds of Nick Bellore making the roster, which previously appeared to be a long shot at best. Bellore, who came in as a linebacker last year, played some snaps at fullback as the year progressed and contributed frequently at special teams as well. It’s also possible the Lions don’t carry a fullback this year. Most likely, Bellore will have to improve to earn his spot on the roster.

Hope for a Quick Recovery

Everyone hates to see injuries, and I especially feel for young players who are trying to jump start their careers in an incredibly tough and physically demanding business. Hopefully this injury will not prevent Nick Bawden from being the old-school bruising power fullback that football fans have been excited to see since his exemplary days at San Diego State.

As we wait for more definitive news on the injury, we will keep him in our thoughts and hope for the best.

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