Bell signed because he knows Denver's system

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The Broncos' reason for agreeing to terms with with Tatum Bell: They needed someone who knows the system.

Bell spent his first three seasons with Denver before being traded to Detroit in 2007. He knows Denver's running system and that's what the Broncos need. They don't have time to teach anyone a system. They need someone to come in and play in Atlanta on Sunday.

The Broncos have put three running backs on the injured reserve in the last week. They are down to rookie fullback Peyton Hillis and P.J. Pope, who was just promoted from the practice squad. Selvin Young is also on the roster but he has a groin injury and he may not be ready to play Sunday at Atlanta.

Enter Bell, who was living in Denver. The Broncos worked him out on Tuesday and signed him. He will likely play against Atlanta. Atlanta's defense is good against the pass and the Broncos will likely go with a heavy dose of Hillis and Bell.

Will Bell, 27, stick around all season? If he is impressive, yes. But right now, Denver is going week-to-week with its running backs. It's an emergency situation and Bell's familiarity with the team gave him another chance to resurrect his career.