According to head coach Adam Gase, New York Jets fans might have to wait just a little longer to see Le’Veon Bell make his debut in green.
The New York Jets aren’t taking any chances when it comes to Le’Veon Bell.
According to multiple reports, head coach Adam Gase advised fans not to expect Bell in his game jersey this summer. Several reporters captured Gase’s declaration after the Jets’ annual Green and White Scrimmage at MetLife Stadium on Sunday night.
Le’Veon Bell won’t play in the preseason, Gase said
— Brian Costello (@BrianCoz) August 19, 2019
RB Le’Veon Bell will NOT play this preseason, Adam Gase said.
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) August 19, 2019
Star players sitting out preseason games is nothing new in the NFL. The defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams, for example, have vowed to hold out their starters for almost the entire quartet. Bell’s case, however, is especially curious.
The running back has not played in an NFL game since January 2018. Then with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bell ran for 1,291 yards en route to an AFC North title in the 2017-18 campaign. He would tally 155 total yards and two touchdowns in the Steelers’ AFC Divisional playoff loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
That turned out to be Bell’s final game as a Steeler. Pittsburgh placed a franchise tag on Bell for the second straight season. Bell refused to sign the $14.5 million tag and commenced a holdout that lasted the entire season. He would go on to sign a four-year, $52.5 million deal with the Jets in March.
The Jets’ first-team offense has mostly used fellow newcomer Ty Montgomery in Bell’s starting running back spot. Montgomery ran for 36 yards on seven carries in the Jets’ 22-10 preseason win over the Atlanta Falcons last Thursday night. Other running backs on the roster include returning veterans Elijah McGuire, Bilal Powell, and Trenton Cannon.
With Gase’s announcement, Bell will likely make his Jets debut in the regular-season opener on Sept. 8 in East Rutherford against the Buffalo Bills. Two more preseason contests await, starting with a Saturday night game against the New Orleans Saints (7:30 p.m. ET, WCBS).