Bell has also played for the Detroit Lions.
Bell has a reputation for costly fumbles, including 5 fumbles in the 2006 season, all ending in turnovers. These fumbles led to the Oakland Raiders naming their fumble recovery drill "The Tatum Bell Drill".
On October 12, 2007 it was revealed that Tatum Bell had asked the Lions to trade him earlier in the week, due to the re-emergence of Kevin Jones and his diminished role at tailback. Bell has since told the media that he didn't demand a trade, but that he simply was disappointed in his diminishing role on the team.
On March 10, 2008, Bell re-signed with the Lions on a one-year contract. He stated that his goal for the 2008 NFL season was to rush for 1,300 yards and 15 touchdowns. However, he was released by the Lions on September 1 after the team signed running back Rudi Johnson. Tatum Bell took Rudi Johnson's bags after he was released, allegedly on purpose. Bell responded by saying, “I ain’t no thief.” Rudi Johnson then referred to Bell's actions as,"All of this happened after he got released and came in and got some stuff out of his locker,that's when he scooped the bags up,some real shyster,conniving stuff."Johnson alleges that Bell stole his underwear.