After being hit with the injury bug over the span of two weeks, the Ravens lost running backs JK Dobbins, Justice Hill, and Gus Edwards to season-ending injuries, causing them to scramble and sign several free-agent running backs in an attempt to find 1-2 that might be capable of producing for them this season. Those players are Le’Veon Bell and Devonta Freeman, whom the team signed to the practice squad, and Trenton Cannon and Latavius Murray, who were signed to the active roster with the former being waived this week, per the transaction wire.
The most interesting name from that bunch is Bell, who previously had ties to the Chiefs and had a rather sour end to his short stint with the team.
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Bell’s Tenure With Chiefs
The most recent stint for Bell on a football field prior to his stop in Baltimore 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.
Though Bell did not share the conversation between him and Reid, one might assume that Reid didn’t believe Bell was a productive back anymore, and told him that in a subtle way (again, maybe), and the veteran disagreed.
“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.”
What This Means for Week 2
There are a couple of things that need to take place for Bell to have an actual revenge game against the Chiefs. First, he needs to be activated to the 53-man roster prior to kickoff. Secondly, he needs to earn enough reps to make an impact on the game which will, in turn, affect the outcome in some way.
As it stands, Baltimore’s backfield isn’t shaking out in Bell’s favor; the team activated Freeman to the active roster Wednesday, per his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, which means Ty’Son Williams, Murray, and Freeman are the current three-headed monster in the backfield heading into the Week 2 matchup. However, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for head coach John Harbaugh to have four running backs on the game-day roster. But it’s not likely. There’s also the option to send one of the other backs down to the practice squad, but that’s also not likely given that both Williams and Murray were productive in the team’s Week 1 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.
So while the chance for a revenge game for Bell is very slim at this point given Baltimore’s current roster layout, if he does end up being activated and does play on Sunday Night Football, let’s see if he does enough to prove Reid and the Chiefs wrong.
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