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Jets News: Le'Veon Bell May Not Debut Until Regular Season

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2019

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - AUGUST 15:  Le'Veon Bell #26 of the New York Jets  warms up prior to facing the Atlanta Falcons in the preseason game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on August 15, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

New York Jets fans have been waiting to see Le'Veon Bell line up in the green and white, but they may not get that chance until the regular season.

Head coach Adam Gase admitted Friday the team might hold him out for the rest of the preseason depending on how he looks in practice.

"He got a ton of reps this week. We'll kind of see how next week goes," Gase said, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. "He's played a lot of football. And I like where he's at right now. I love how he's working. If I feel like there's a need to play him next week, we will. If he has a good week of practice and it's not worth it for us to get him out there, then we won't."

Bell hasn't appeared in a game yet this preseason, leaving the carries to backups Ty Montgomery, Elijah McGuire and Bilal Powell in Thursday's 22-10 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

Although Week 3 of the preseason is usually considered a "dress rehearsal" for the regular season, it's not unusual to keep veteran running backs on the bench. Bell didn't play at all in the preseason in 2017 before earning a first-team All-Pro selection with 1,946 yards from scrimmage.

On the other hand, the running back sat out all last season due to a contract dispute and hasn't seen live action in more than a year-and-a-half.

He could be in for a rude awakening the first time he gets hit in their Week 1 game against the Buffalo Bills.

Gase said the Jets have "ramped up Bell's workload in practice," according to Mehta, which hopefully will be enough to get him game ready.

After signing a $52 million contract in the offseason with $27 million guaranteed, it makes sense for the team to be as cautious as possible with their superstar. 

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