Running back Joique Bell hinted at it earlier in the week and offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi confirmed it on Thursday -- rookie tailback George Winn isn't going to fade away once the Detroit Lions backfield gets healthy.

Winn, elevated off the practice squad last week, made his professional debut against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. He played a bigger role than anticipated in the contest, running for 48 yards on 11 carries in the loss.

He had gains of 13 and 16 yards in his first six carries, building on a strong preseason performance that earned him a spot on the team's practice squad out of training camp. Now it appears he's in line to maintain an offensive role, even with Bell and Theo Riddick on track to return from injury.

"Yeah, I think so," Lombardi said. "I think he's proven through the preseason and regular season that he's effective as a ball carrier. Yeah, for sure."

It was Bell's injury, a concussion suffered against the New York Jets two weeks ago, that opened the door for Winn to get an opportunity. The pair just happen to share a similar background story as local products playing for the hometown team after bouncing around the league for a bit.

Bell, a Benton Harbor native and Wayne State alum, played for five teams before joining the Lions. Winn, who grew up in Southfield, has been on six other rosters.

They two also share a similar one-cut running styles, and neither shy away from contact.