The New York Jets paid Le’Veon Bell more than anyone else would, and right now they’re not getting their money’s worth.
The veteran running back Bell is currently on Injured Reserve with a hamstring injury. He’s first eligible to return in Week 5 due to 2020’s new IR rules that require a player miss a minimum of three weeks. Frank Gore is filling in as the Jets’ back while Bell is out.
Before missing time, Bell had a quiet Week 1. He rushed six times for 14 yards while catching both of his two targets for 32 yards. Bell also dealt with hamstring issues in training camp that may have popped up again here.
Here’s what you need to know about Bell’s injury and when he might return for the Jets:
How long will Le’Veon Bell be out?
Bell cannot officially return until Week 5 after his placement on Injured Reserve ahead of Week 2. That roster move meant Bell couldn’t play in Weeks 2, 3 and 4.
The latest report from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler is that Bell is targeting a return in Week 5. He’s eligible to return practicing after Week 4 is over. The Jets host the Cardinals in Week 5, a leaky run defense that presents a solid matchup for Bell to return for.
When Bell initially was injured, Jets head coach Adam Gase told reporters that Bell “could be out a couple weeks.” Gase added than that he wouldn’t be surprised if Bell made it back “quicker than anticipated.”
The bigger concern with Bell’s return from his hamstring injury might be that he’d already dealt with hamstring tightness in training camp. A recurring hamstring injury does not go well with someone trying to be a workhorse running back.
What is Le’Veon Bell’s injury?
There have been no official announcements or reports about the exact nature of Bell’s hamstring injury. He appeared to injure it in Week 1 on a reception, but then he returned to the game and attempted to play through it. It was only in the second half that he was then ruled doubtful to return and didn’t make it back in the game.
Based on the expectation that Bell will be back in Week 5, it seems like he must’ve pulled or strained his hamstring and not done anything in the nature of a tear.
Le’Veon Bell injury timeline
Sept. 30 – ESPN reports that Bell is expected to return for Week 5.
Sept. 15 – Bell is placed on Injured Reserve, requiring him to miss at least Weeks 2 through 4.
Sept. 13 – Bell injures his hamstring against the Bills in Week 1.
Late-Aug. – Bell and Gase have a miscommunication about his hamstring tightness during training camp
Le’Veon Bell injury updates
Sept. 30 – ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports Bell is aiming to return in Week 5 when first eligible.
Sept. 15 – The Jets place Bell on Injured Reserve, forcing him to miss at least three weeks.
Sept. 14 – Gase said he expected Bell to miss a couple of weeks and that he could return quicker than expected.
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