The Jets are playing it ultra-safe with their biggest offseason pickup for their offense, as the team has announced that Le’Veon Bell will not play at all in the preseason.
When Bell does get his first carry, it will be the first for him in a game in over a year and a half, 19 months.
It’s interesting that the team does not seem to feel like Bell will have much rust once he gets going, and Ralph Vacchiano of SNY says that the team is smart not to push Bell in a meaningless preseason game and instead save him for when it matters.
Adam Gase is smart to be cautious with his star running back. And the decision he announced on Sunday night to keep the 27-year-old Bell out for the entire preseason is absolutely the right move.
The last thing the Jets need is to lose Bell before they even have a chance to use him. They spent $52.5 million on him in March, even upping their offer to seal the deal, because they knew he’d be the linchpin of Gase’s attack. They viewed him as the perfect weapon to help their young, star quarterback and a way to take the pressure off their undermanned receiving corps.
So now the Jets are getting a look at who might be in the mix for backup roles as well as players that might need to see the field to get ready for the season in these four preseason affairs.
Two are down, with two to go, and the team does need a lot of work. They seem to feel that Bell does not. They will find out early in the first game if they were right or not.