New York Jets star running back Le’Veon Bell want the team’s leader and quarterback Sam Darnold to stay healthy at all costs.
According to Le’Veon Bell, there’s a clear leader in the New York Jets locker room. Sam Darnold isn’t the kind of leader who’s going to deliver a rousing half time speech. He isn’t going to get everyone pumped up in the huddle on the game-winning play. He isn’t going to celebrate every big play.
Instead, Darnold is the kind of guy who leads with his presence and by example.
Le'Veon Bell on Sam Darnold's evolving leadership:
"He’s taking great command of the huddle. I think that’s the biggest difference from Year 2 to 3… Sam’s not really a rah-rah guy… But the way he does it, you want to follow him. You want to listen to him & work hard for him"
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaSports) August 24, 2020
According to Le’Veon Bell, he’s the kind of guy you want to follow and work hard for. He’s the silent leader that the Jets have been looking for.
His biggest issue has been his health. Darnold missed three games in 2019 due to a bout with mononucleosis. Bell isn’t ready to lose his starting quarterback again, in much more perilous times.
Le'Veon Bell wants Sam Darnold to stay healthy. What did he tell him?
"No bars." Unlike Joe Namath in the past, Darnold won't be "trying to get by" this season. #Jets
— Robby Sabo (@RobbySabo) August 24, 2020
Bell was clearly making a joke here, but it’s true. Darnold has dealt with health issues his entire career to this point. He missed three games his rookie season with a sprained ankle. In 2020, he tore a ligament in his thumb that needed offseason surgery.
Mono might not be an issue in 2020, but COVID-19 is. Sam Darnold has already told the media that he’s made the proper adjustments to his lifestyle, but it’s not that easy. The NFL plans to allow fans into the stadium, depending on the region. The Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins, both places the Jets will visit, are allowing fans into the stadium.
The Jets will also have to make a number of flights across the country. They have two west coast road trips this season. MLB has already proved it’s incredibly difficult to have a season outside a bubble. They’ve had four teams miss games due to COVID-19, two of which had major outbreaks.
The NFL is taking even fewer precautions. So, Bell may have been joking that Darnold needs to avoid bars, but it’s the truth. The whole team needs to avoid bars.