The curious use of Le’Veon Bell has shifted from being underutilized last season to now the New York Jets star running back being out on the field when he shouldn’t have been.
Bell suffered a hamstring injury in the second quarter of the Jets 27-17 loss at the Buffalo Bills this past Sunday. Despite the injury, he still returned to the game in the second half. This despite the fact that the Jets were down 21-3 at halftime and their offense, including Bell, was severely lacking.
Jets head coach Adam Gase, who drew criticism in 2019 for not using his All-Pro running back enough, had remorse for putting an obviously injured Bell back on the field in the third quarter.
“I am mad at myself that I let him to back in there in the second half. That play looked bad. I was watching him, and I thought it was going to be a touchdown. He got grabbed and the way he planted and torqued, it looked really bad,” Gase said. “I saw him grab his hamstring and he wouldn’t come out. When we came in at halftime, I let him go back in there. I was worried about it. Eventually, I was like, ‘I can’t put you in there. We can’t take a chance of getting more hurt than you already are’.”
Bell had six rushing attempts for 14 yards in the Jets loss. He did have two catches for 32 yards and drew the aforementioned holding penalty late in the first half that set-up kicker Sam Ficken’s 31-yard field goal before halftime. Ficken’s kick made it a 21-3 scoreline in favor of the Bills.