In 2019 former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell muddled through a rather ordinary first season with the New York Jets. Today, season No. 2 got off to a less-than-inspiring start. Granted Bell did have a nice 30-yard reception from quarterback Sam Darnold when the Jets were already down 21-0 near the end of the second quarter.
But Bell appeared to injure his hamstring on the play, though he remained in the game until the Jets pulled him out in the third quarter, when he was seen on the sideline with a wrap around his leg. In the end Bell finished with six carries for 14 yards rushing with two receptions for 32 yards receiving.
After the game, Jets head coach Adam Gase lamented not getting Bell out of the game sooner. Via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, Gase said that he was “mad at [him]self” for not pulling Bell when he was initially injured.
But the fact that Bell had a hamstring issue lends credence to the idea that Gase was telling the truth when he yanked Bell out of practice during a late August session. Never mind that Bell took to Twitter later to dispute his coach’s account, writing: “ain’t nothing [sic] wrong with my hamstrings.”
Le’Veon Bell’s Move From Pittsburgh to New York
Bell has not been the same player since he turned down a five-year $70 million contract offer from the Steelers and held out for the entire 2018 season, turning down a chance to play under the franchise tag for a second consecutive year.
Bell is in the second year of a four-year $52.5 million contract, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if this is his last year with the Jets. According to overthecap.com he is scheduled to earn $8 million in salary next season and carries a salary cap hit of $13.5 million, but if he is cut before June 1, 2021, he would count a relatively paltry $4 million in dead money on the team’s salary cap next year.
Around the AFC North
As for the Steelers’ rivals in the AFC North, the Baltimore Ravens walloped the Cleveland Browns 38-6 today, making this the 16th consecutive opener without a victory for the Browns. There were few bright spots for Cleveland, which committed three turnovers and eight penalties. The Browns also missed a field goal and an extra point and botched a fake punt.
Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Bengals lost to the Los Angeles Chargers in quarterback Joe Burrow’s debut after Bengals placekicker Randy Bullock missed a 31-yard field goal as time ran out in the fourth quarter. Burrow finished the day 23-of-36 for 193 yards and an interception. He was also sacked three times and absorbed six quarterback hits en route to the 16-13 defeat.
In one other notable NFL result, the New Orleans Saints spoiled Tom Brady’s debut with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, winning 34-23. Brady was 23-of-36 for 239 yards but threw a pair of interceptions along with two touchdown passes.
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