The Baltimore Ravens have been holding workouts this week after two of the team’s running backs, J.K. Dobbins and Justice Hill, suffered season-ending injuries before the regular season officially began. And one of the players they brought in has ties to the Kansas City Chiefs: Le’Veon Bell.
Bell One of Handful of RBs Worked Out
Bell, along with Kenji Baher, Devonta Freeman, Elijah Holyfield, and Reginald McKenzie were the backs brought in by Baltimore this week, according to The MMQB’s Albert Breer who spotted those names on Monday’s transaction wire.
UPDATE – Le’Veon Bell has been signed to the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter
Bell is the most notable name among those that worked out for the Ravens, simply because of his resume, which includes over 6,400 career rushing yards and 40 touchdowns. Freeman is the other player with notoriety, as he had a six-year stint with the Atlanta Falcons which included back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and 27 total touchdowns during those two years.
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But what makes Baltimore an intriguing destination for Bell? Apparently the veteran back “wanted his next stop to prioritize the RB,” per ESPN insider Jeremy Fowler.
If Bell wants to play for a team that prioritizes its running backs, then Baltimore is the perfect fit. Last season, the Ravens were the No. 1 rushing attack in the NFL, rushing for a total of 3,071 yards, averaging 5.5 yards per carry, and scoring 24 total touchdowns on the ground, according to NFL.com. That’s nearly 500 yards more than the second-best rushing attack in the league, which was the Tennessee Titans, who totaled 2,690 yards on the ground. While quarterback Lamar Jackson has been the biggest beneficiary of the run game in Baltimore — totaling 1,005 rushing yards and seven touchdowns last season, per Pro Football Reference — there are ample opportunities for multiple running backs to earn double-digit touches in any given game as well.
Bell’s Tenure With Chiefs
The most recent stint for Bell on a football field was with Kansas City during the 2020 season. After being cut by the New York Jets on October 14, Bell signed with the Chiefs and played in a total of 10 games — nine regular-season games and one playoff match. His production wasn’t all that promising for a player that was believed to be coming out of a system in New York that hampered all of its players; Bell carried the ball 63 times for 254 yards — 4.0 yards per attempt — and two touchdowns, per Pro Football Reference. However, it wasn’t his play that left a sour taste in Chiefs Kingdom’s mouth, it was his words.
When engaging in an Instagram thread back in June, Bell was asked if he had been re-signed by Kansas City. Bell responded to the comment, saying, “I’ll never play for Andy Reid again…I’d retire first.” This led to some questions pertaining to what would make Bell have such strong feelings towards Reid. Bell took to Twitter to explain that he has strong feelings regarding Reid because of something that the Kansas City head coach said to him. However, Bell did not detail the exchange between him and Reid.
“Listen, I really enjoyed my time with him here,” Reid told reporters back in June in regards to Bell’s comments. “I appreciated the way he handled things and did his business. He had some productive downs for us. I’m pulling for him in the future. I mean, that’s how I roll. People say things, they say things. I move on. I wish him the best.”
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