Jaguars Sign Ex-Steelers Kicker, Ravens Elevate Le’Veon Bell

Le'Veon Bell

Rey Del Rio/Getty Images Le'Veon Bell of the Baltimore Ravens on the field during warm ups before a game against the Detroit Lions on September 26, 2021.

On Saturday the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5) signed former Pittsburgh Steelers placekicker Matthew Wright to the active roster, and he’s doing the kicking against the Miami Dolphins at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in north London on Sunday October 17.

Matthew Wright In, Josh Lambo Out

But Wright has a tenuous hold on the job, as he’s in an ongoing competition with veteran Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo, who struggled mightily in the early part of this season. In fact, Lambo is 0-for-3 on field goal attempts and 5-of-7 on extra points this year, which led Jacksonville to sign Wright to its practice squad on September 27.

He went on to make his Jaguars debut against the Cincinnati Bengals on September 30, and was a practice squad elevation once again when Jacksonville hosted the Tennessee Titans on October 10. Thus far, he is 4-of-5 on extra-points and missed his only field goal attempt—a 53-yarder that hit the crossbar.

Wright, 25, made his NFL regular-season debut with the Steelers in December 2020, and fared well during the three games he served as Chris Boswell’s injury replacement, converting 4-of-4 field goals and all seven of his extra-point attempts. He went on to work out for the Detroit Lions in January 2021, and subsequently signed a one-year Reserve/Future contract. But he was waived on August 10, 2021 after losing a training camp competition.

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Le’Veon Bell Elevated by Ravens for a Second Time

Meanwhile, it appears that former Steelers All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell will get a second chance to impress his new bosses when the Baltimore Ravens (4-1) host the Los Angeles Chargers (4-1) on October 17. Bell made his Ravens debut at Denver on October 3, carrying the ball four times for just 11 yards, an average of 2.8 yards per carry, this according to Pro Football Reference.

But the Chargers have the lowest-ranked run defense in the league, allowing an average of 5.6 yards per carry and 157.6 rushing yards per game, so it ought to be a good opportunity for Bell, 29, to show he can still contribute to a team’s success.

Keep in mind that Bell went unsigned in 2021 until the Ravens suffered a rash of season-ending injuries at running back, which prompted Baltimore to add him to its practice squad on September 7.

Bell was a two-time first-team All-Pro with the Steelers between 2013-17, but in all the time since he has a total of 331 carries for 1,128 yards and five rushing touchdowns.

He was selected by the Steelers in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Michigan State. He made the Pro Bowl in four of his first five years in Pittsburgh, but sat out the entire 2018 season in a contract dispute with the Steelers. He went on to produce 789 rushing yards for the New York Jets in 2019 and a grand total of 328 rushing yards in 2020, most of which came with the Kansas City Chiefs.

In June 2021 he took to social media to announce that he had a “personal problem” with Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. He also predicted that 2021 would be his comeback year—the time when NFL fans would be reminded of his exceptional rushing and receiving talents.

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