It’s all going wildly wrong for Le’Veon Bell in the Big Apple. On Sunday the former Pittsburgh Steelers running back injured his hamstring during an ugly 27-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Then after the game Jets head coach Adam Gase questioned himself for not pulling Bell out of the game earlier.
Now it looks like the Jets are taking no chances with Bell’s extended-term health, placing him on injured reserve, meaning he will miss the next three games—at least.
We've signed RB Kalen Ballage to the active roster.
Additionally, we've placed RB Le'Veon Bell, WR Denzel Mims and LB Blake Cashman on IR.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) September 15, 2020
So far Bell hasn’t taken to Twitter to question his coach’s decision, like he did when he was pulled out of an August practice for what Gase described as hamstring tightness.
Le’Veon Bell vs. Benny Snell?
But other Twitter users took the opportunity to pile on Bell and the Jets.
The Twitter account of the NFL on CBS helpfully pointed out that Le’Veon Bell hasn’t had a 20-yard run in his last 16 games, while Steelers backup RB Benny Snell had two last night alone.
Just a simple comparison of 20+ yard runs:
Le’Veon Bell (last 16 games): 0
Benny Snell (Week 1): 2 pic.twitter.com/fOPEVd3EMM
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) September 15, 2020
And Alex B., co-host of the “Bad Weather Fans” podcast, said “Le’Veon Bell may go down as the worst free agent signing in Jets history and that’s saying something.”
Le’Veon Bell may go down as the worst free agent signing in Jets history and that’s saying something
— Alex B. (@KnicksCentral) September 14, 2020
Bell was having a quiet day in the Jets’ season opener when he was injured, accumulating six carries for 14 yards plus two receptions for 32 yards.
The Jets signed former Miami Dolphins running back Kalen Ballage to take his place, but one assumes that elder statesman Frank Gore will carry much of the load in Bell’s absence, as rookie La’Mical Perine is recovering from an injury of his own.
The Jets tried to acquire Ballage three weeks ago in a trade with Miami, but the trade was reversed when Ballage failed his physical.
Le’Veon Bell’s Future in New York?
Bell rushed for just 789 yards and scored only four touchdowns with the Jets in 2019, the first year under the four-year, $52.5 million contract he signed after sitting out for a season in 2018.
The way things are going, 2020 will be his last year in New York. According to overthecap.com Bell 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. That makes it likely he will be released after the season, as no NFL team is going to trade for him with that kind of contract obligation.
Zach Banner’s Knee Surgery Scheduled
In other news, reports that Steelers right tackle Zach Banner suffered a serious knee injury appear to be true. This evening Banner took to Twitter to let fans know that surgery has been scheduled for Friday.
“Everything’s going to be OK,” Banner said. “I’m going to get over this. I’m excited about my recovery process and I’m going to come back even stronger next season. It’s another obstacle I’ve got to get over.”
— Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) September 15, 2020
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