New York Jets prized free-agent addition Le’Veon Bell made quite the statement in his Week 1 debut. He’ll be looking for a similar performance in Week 2.
603 Days. That was the last time Le’Veon Bell played in any sort of meaningful football game. Fast-forward one full season and $52.5 million later and it looks like the New York Jets have found a potent weapon to help quarterback Sam Darnold.
Adam Gase and the Jets wanted to (rightfully) protect their newest investment. All offseason, Bell was brought along very slowly in practices and did not play one snap in preseason games.
As we approached Week 1, Bell seemed ready to have Gase let the reins go and he was ready to play some football.
In an article from Newsday before the season opener, Bell expressed his eagerness to step back on to the gridiron.
“I’ll carry it 50 (times) if he asks me to. I’m ready. When I said ‘don’t hold back,’ I mean literally that. I don’t want to go out here and try to sprinkle me in and things like that. I’m ready to play football. I’ve been waiting a long time for this moment…A lot of people are excited to see me play. Just quadruple that, that’s how I feel. I’m excited to play and I can’t wait.”
Bell impressed in his MetLife debut garnering 60 rushing yards on 17 carries and 32 yards and a touchdown off of six catches (as well as catching a two-point conversion).
He scored the only offensive points of the game provided Jets Nation with a small taste of what may be to come this season and beyond.
After the game, Bell had the following to say about his Week 1 performance.
“It felt like normal. I still had fun playing the game today. Even though the outcome wasn’t what I wanted it to be — obviously I’m a competitive guy, so I’m not happy at the fact we lost the game — but I’m just happy I went out there and was able to compete again.”
More from The Jet Press
- NY Jets: Jonnu Smith would be a smart free-agent target
- NY Jets: 3 non-quarterback trade targets on offense
- NY Jets expected to be ‘much more aggressive’ in free agency this year
- NY Jets: Patriots will not use the franchise tag on Joe Thuney
- NY Jets officially place the franchise tag on safety Marcus Maye
While the Jets started off strong, they made a lot of mistakes that should not have been made, and the Buffalo Bills capitalized. In spite of what turned out to be a disappointment of an opening day, Bell showed little signs of rust.
While many aspects of play could have (and should have) taken the blame for such a bad loss, Bells acquisition proved to be not one of them.
Moving forward, things are looking very bleak for the Jets. Darnold is going to be out an unspecified amount of time with mononucleosis and Quinnen Williams (ankle) and C.J. Mosley (groin) are both not playing on Monday Night Football this week.
Additionally, there was even a scare with Bell this week as he went in for an MRI on his shoulder. Those concerns ended up being unfounded as no structural damage was discovered.
As long as Le’Veon Bell can stay healthy, the Jets can look forward to him making contributions comparable or beyond to what we saw last week.
Considering the state the team is in this early in the season, the Jets will need him in his best form this Monday night.