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ASU Football: Former Devil Kalen Ballage Signs With Jets

Former Devil gets another shot in the NFL.

Former Arizona State Sun Devils running back Kalen Ballage signed with the New York Jets on Tuesday, per the team’s official site. The move comes hours after running back Le’Veon Bell was placed on the injured reserve list with a hamstring injury.

Ballage, previously playing for the Dolphins, was initially traded to New York just weeks ago. However, a failed physical for the Jets nullified the trade and made Ballage a free agent prior to his signing on Tuesday.

A former fourth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Ballage averaged 5.3 yards per carry his rookie season before ultimately struggling in 2019 with Miami. Ballage was placed on injured reserve by the Dolphins following a leg injury late last season. New York head coach Adam Gase, formerly of the Dolphins prior to his arrival in the big apple, is familiar with Ballage from coaching him in Miami, and likely had a lot to do with the signing.

Running the football appeared to be an area of weakness for the Jets during their week one opener on Sunday, rushing the ball for just 52 yards with an average gain of 3.5 yards. Ballage looks to make an instant impact in a Jets backfield that features just Frank Gore and Lamical Perine as well as recently promoted Adams from New York’s practice squad.

With an ability to effectively catch the ball, Ballage gives the Jets an all-purpose back for what is likely to be the entire duration Bell remains out. While Bell will ultimately take control of the backfield when he returns to full health, Ballage has a minimum of three weeks to prove his worth on the 53-man roster each week.