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Report: Kalen Ballage's Trade to Jets from Dolphins off After Failed Physical

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2020

Miami Dolphins running back Kalen Ballage (27) does drills during practice at NFL football team's training facility, Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, in Davie, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

The proposed trade sending Kalen Ballage from the Miami Dolphins to the New York Jets has fallen through after he failed a physical because of a hamstring injury, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Rapoport reported the Dolphins will likely release Ballage outright, at which point the Jets could make another move for him.

The Dolphins announced Thursday they traded Ballage to the Jets for a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2021. The move was somewhat surprising because Rapoport had initially reported before the trade Miami was jettisoning the 24-year-old.

The move also came one day after Le'Veon Bell publicly criticized his usage during practice:

Le'Veon Bell @LeVeonBell

its tough to stay loose when you do a bunch of standing around......& I’m used to GOINGGG 🏃🏾💨💨

Le'Veon Bell @LeVeonBell

exactly...I PRACTICE for a GAME!!! I need to PRACTICE to be great in GAMES!!! duh https://t.co/AcOUMBOgdt

Even if the Jets don't sign Ballage now, fans will naturally look at the terminated trade within the context of the Bell/Adam Gase dynamic. ESPN's Rich Cimini explained how the situation is shaping up to be thorny:

"Bell remains the best back on the team despite a poor 2019 season, but Gase's well-documented affinity for [Frank] Gore and his preference for a running back-by-committee are reasons to believe this could get messy. We've already seen the warning signs, with last week's hamstring dispute. It resulted in a long sitdown between Bell and Gase, who admitted Saturday he was "caught off guard a little bit" by Bell's Twitter rant about being pulled from a midweek intrasquad scrimmage."

Whether or not the Jets make another run at Ballage, they might have to do something to fill out their backfield. According to Rapoport, fourth-round draft pick La'Mical Perine will undergo an MRI after injuring his ankle in practice.

Manish Mehta @MMehtaNYDN

Healthy Jets RB Depth Chart: 1) Le’Veon Bell 2) Frank Gore That’s it. 🏈 La’Mical Perine: Injured 🏈Josh Adams: Injured 🏈Kalen Ballage: Failed Physical (sent back to Miami) NYJ cut rookie Pete Guerriero to make room for Ballage. Makes sense to bring him back.

New York opens the regular season in two weeks against the Buffalo Bills. If Perine's injury throws his availability for that game into doubt, then the team will need to add another running back to back up Bell and Gore.