Bell Gets New Replacement Gig

New Packers cornerback Josh Bell played well in five starts in place of Champ Bailey last season for the Denver Broncos. Bell broke up three passes against Brett Favre and the Jets last year.

When Champ Bailey went down for the Denver Broncos last season, opposing offenses went after his replacement, Josh Bell.

Bell's latest replacement gig is taking Al Harris' roster spot.

The 5-foot-11, 177-pound Bell signed with the Green Bay Packers after working out for the team on Monday, agent Frederick Lyles told Packer Report on Monday evening. Bell will be at practice on Tuesday and, hopefully, ready to face the Detroit Lions on Thursday.

Lyles asked the question that some Packers fans will be asking: Why on earth would the Packers sign a "virtual nobody" to help a team on its playoff drive.

Bell was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Baylor by San Diego in 2008. He failed to make the Chargers' roster and was signed to the Broncos' practice squad a few weeks into the season.

When Bailey went down, Bell was promoted, and the Broncos went 3-2 in Bell's five starts — including a 34-17 victory over the New York Jets in which Bell broke up three passes from Brett Favre. He broke up four passes in his five starts and played in nine games overall.

Bell suffered a knee injury in the Broncos' preseason finale against San Francisco on Aug. 29. Lyles said it was a six-week injury, so the Broncos awarded Bell an injury settlement and set him free.

Bell played in the Broncos' version of the 3-4, and the familiarity with some of the basics of the scheme no doubt played a role in the Packers' decision. Lyles said Bell was a chemistry major, so intelligence and the ability to pick up a defense is not a problem. That's a major plus with the Packers playing at Detroit in a couple of days.

"I think it's a good fit," Lyles said.

In an interview with Scout.com's Chargers site during Bell's rookie season, he said Jordy Nelson — not Michael Crabtree — was the best receiver he faced in college.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.


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