When the Kansas City Chiefs signed RB Le’Veon Bell on October 15, the team’s running back group was instantly catapulted up among the league’s best. That’s a far cry from the days leading up to Week 1 when it appeared the defending Super Bowl champions were planning to lean on a room of backs with zero career NFL starts under their collective belts, headlined by 2020 first-rounder Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
After CEH burst on to the scene with 138 yards and a touchdown on opening night, it quickly became apparent that Kansas City might have hit on a special talent in the draft. While the 21-year-old has ceded 20 total touches to his new All-Pro counterpart since Week 7 compared to his 26 total touches over that span, the Chiefs have continued to trot out Edwards-Helaire as their starter with Bell playing a more complementary role than in years past.
However, during an appearance on Good Morning Football on Tuesday, LeGarrette Blount, a three-time Super Bowl champion and former teammate of Bell in 2014, suggested that the veteran newcomer may soon be poised for a much larger role in Andy Reid’s offense.
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Could Bell Overtake CEH as Chiefs’ Starter?
According to the nine-year pro who last played for the Detroit Lions in 2018, Edwards-Helaire’s time as the Chiefs starting running back may be coming to an end, at least in the short term.
“(Bell) is one of those special guys in the league that I think will pretty soon take over the reins in Kansas City,” Blount told NFL Network’s Kay Adams. “It’s not a knock against Clyde Edwards-Helaire because I’ve been a fan of his since he was at LSU, but I’ve always thought that Le’Veon was a special back. I’ve always thought that he was one of those guys that can change a franchise if in the right situation. I’m excited about him being there. I’m excited about him being able to take over the reins. Like I said, no knock against Clyde Edwards-Helaire, but Le’Veon I think is just probably one of the best backs in the NFL.”
Bell (Cow) No More
If any NFL player in recent memory can relate to Bell’s situation, it’s undoubtedly Blount, who acknowledged that the former Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets playmaker will “have a huge impact on Kansas City.” Blount is well remembered for parlaying an average start to his career in Tampa Bay into three Super Bowl rings with two contenders — the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles — in the span of four seasons between 2014 and 2017.
His best season came in 2016 in New England when Bill Belichick and team rode the 6-foot, 247-pounder for 1,161 yards and an NFL-best 18 touchdowns on 299 carries.
While Bell isn’t being counted on for anywhere near that level of production, especially in a pass-heavy attack led by MVP candidate Patrick Mahomes, the seventh-year back has shown some signs of life in his first three games with Kansas City. Pending an injury to CEH, the general expectation is for Bell to continue to spell the touted rookie into the winter months with 8 to 12 touches per game, depending on game flow.
Following this week’s much-needed bye, the Chiefs will hit the road in Week 11 to visit the Las Vegas Raiders (5-3), who have surrendered a healthy 4.5 yard-per-carry clip to opposing rushers and a league-worst 13 rushing touchdowns through eight games.
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