Le'Veon Bell Ruled out by 49ers' Shanahan: 'I'm Good with All Our Guys'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 15, 2020

New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell runs the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in East Rutherford. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan suggested Wednesday that he isn't interested in signing free-agent running back Le'Veon Bell

According to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, Shanahan talked up his current crop of running backs, especially starter Raheem Mostert:

"I'm good with all our guys. So, even if Raheem wasn't back [from a knee injury], I don't think that would change much. I think we've got pretty good depth, and I know we're going to get Tevin [Coleman] back soon, too, hopefully. Raheem played, I thought Raheem played great. I thought he was probably the best football player on the field on Sunday and wish we could have got the ball to him more, but you could tell he was ready to go."

The New York Jets released Bell this week after he made just 17 appearances for the team over the course of two seasons. New York signed him to a four-year, $52.5 million contract prior to the 2019 campaign.

After being named a Pro Bowler three times and a First Team All-Pro twice in five seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bell never seemed to fit in with the Jets.

During his first season in New York in 2019, Bell rushed for just 789 yards and three touchdowns to go along with 66 receptions for 461 yards and one score.

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Bell appeared in just two games this season, as he suffered a hamstring injury in the opener against the Buffalo Bills. The 28-year-old veteran returned last week to play against the Arizona Cardinals, rushing for 60 yards on 13 carries and catching one pass for seven yards.

After that game, Bell liked several tweets suggesting he should have been used more in the passing game, and Jets head coach Adam Gase wasn't a fan of Bell expressing his frustrations in that way.

With the partnership not working two years in, the Jets decided to release Bell, and he now figures to have no shortage of options on the free-agent market.

The Niners apparently aren't among them, though, as Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have done a quality job building up depth in the backfield.

Mostert missed two games with a knee injury but returned last week against the Miami Dolphins and rushed for 90 yards on 11 carries, while also catching three passes for 29 yards.

Coleman has missed the past three games with a knee injury, but he will be back at some point, and the 49ers have been fine without him at running back due to the emergence of Jerick McKinnon.

After missing the entire 2018 and 2019 seasons due to injury, McKinnon is finally back and playing well. In five games this season, he has rushed for 193 yards and three touchdowns and has caught 15 passes for 107 yards and another score.

The 49ers are coming off a rough 43-17 home loss to the Miami Dolphins, but their running back situation is the least of their concerns, and they are likely far more focused on the quarterback position, as well as on defense.