New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell believes his lack of production this season has a lot to do with his low number of touches.
Prior to this season, one in which the New York Jets are 5-8 in thus far, Gang Green acquired star running back Le’Veon Bell. The veteran signed a four-year deal worth $52.5 million back in March. It was a move that excited Jets fans all around, but one that hasn’t really lived up its potential. All-in-all, Bell isn’t exactly producing as well as the organization had hoped for.
Through 12 games, Bell has racked up 589 yards on the ground on a 3.2 yards-per-carry rate with three touchdowns. He’s also caught 55 balls for 403 yards and one score through the air. Needless to say, the production hasn’t caught a spark just yet, and the Pro Bowler may have a reason as to why.
“I’ve been playing in this league for a long time. I’ve always been kinda used to like, getting the ball 20, 25, 30 times,” Bell said, per Bryan DeArdo of CBS Sports. “Because that’s what my body can handle and that’s the type of player I’ve always been. Even in college, at Michigan State, I was getting the ball that much.”
“I would love to put the game on my back and take games over,” he added. “I haven’t had one of those games this year yet. But a lot of people don’t think I’m the same player or I can’t do that. That’s because I haven’t had the opportunity to really show. As time goes on, we’ll get better, we’ll find a way to make things shake.”
Bell’s carries-per-game rate this season is the lowest it’s been throughout his entire career. In his five years in Pittsburgh (62 total games), Bell averaged 19.8 carries-per-game. In his inaugural campaign with the Jets, he’s averaging just 15.3 carries-per-game.
Bell missed Sunday’s win over the Miami Dolphins due to an illness. It was his first missed game since coming over to New York.
Despite his low production, however, the Jets have been playing better over the last month or so. They’ve now won four out of their last five games, sitting in third place in the AFC East.