Le'Veon Bell Has a Chance to Play Week 1 for Ravens vs. Raiders, John Harbaugh Says

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 9, 2021

Kansas City Chiefs running back Le'Veon Bell (26) runs with the ball against the Las Vegas Raiders during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
AP Photo/Isaac Brekken

Le'Veon Bell only officially signed with the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday, but head coach John Harbaugh said "there's a chance" the running back could play in  Week 1, via Nick Shook of NFL.com.

Baltimore opens its season Monday night at home against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Bell initially signed with the practice squad, but Harbuagh has high hopes for the player:

"Le'Veon's a guy I think we're very familiar with obviously. We've played against him so many times in so many highly competitive, emotional games. It was fun to have him in for the workout, he had a good workout. Practiced yesterday, did a good job. So, we'll have a process with him. He's excited, he's learning and we'll see where it goes."

Bell played his first five NFL seasons with AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers and was named first-team All-Pro twice in this time.

In 10 career games against the Ravens, Bell has 1,156 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns.

Baltimore will now look for this type of production after losing both J.K. Dobbins and Justice Hill to season-ending injuries. Dobbins suffered a torn ACL in a preseason game against the Washington Football Team, while Hill reportedly suffered an Achilles injury.

That left Gus Edwards and undrafted free agent Ty'Son Williams as the top options on the roster.

Bell is coming off an up-and-down season in 2020, beginning the year with the New York Jets before being released and picked up by the Kansas City Chiefs in October. He finished with a career-low 328 rushing yards overall, although he did average a respectable 4.0 yards per carry that was in line with his career average of 4.1.

Even if the 29-year-old doesn't return to his Pro Bowl form, he can provide reliable experience in the backfield and a quality change-of-pace alongside Edwards and Williams.