Bacterial ribonucleotide reductases (RNRs) play an important role in the synthesis of dNTPs and their expression is regulated by the transcription factors, NrdR and Fur. Recent transcriptomic studies using deletion mutants have indicated a role for NrdR in bacterial chemotaxis and in the maintenance of topoisomerase levels. However, NrdR deletion alone has no effect on bacterial growth or virulence in infected flies or in human blood cells. Furthermore, transcriptomic studies are limited to the deletion strain alone, and so are inadequate for drawing biological implications when the NrdR repressor is active or abundant. Therefore, further examination is warranted of changes in the cellular proteome in response to both NrdR overexpression, as well as deletion, to better understand its functional relevance as a bacterial transcription repressor. Here, we profile bacterial fate under conditions of overexpression and deletion of NrdR in E. coli. Biochemical assays show auxiliary zinc enhances the DNA binding activity of NrdR. We also demonstrate at the physiological level that increased nrdR expression causes a significant reduction in bacterial growth and fitness even at normal temperatures, and causes lethality at elevated temperatures. Corroborating these direct effects, global proteome analysis following NrdR overexpression showed a significant decrease in global protein expression. In parallel, studies on complementary expression of downregulated essential genes polA, eno and thiL showed partial rescue of the fitness defect caused by NrdR overexpression. Deletion of downregulated non-essential genes ygfK and trxA upon NrdR overexpression resulted in diminished bacterial growth and fitness suggesting an additional role for NrdR in regulating other genes. Moreover, in comparison with NrdR deletion, E. coli cells overexpressing NrdR showed significantly diminished adherence to human epithelial cells, reflecting decreased bacterial virulence. These results suggest that elevated expression of NrdR could be a suitable means to retard bacterial growth and virulence, as its elevated expression reduces bacterial fitness and impairs host cell adhesion.