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Gase: Bell won't make Jets debut until regular season

Sun Aug 18 10:48pm ET
By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Pro Football Writer

Players: Sam Darnold

In this July 25, 2019, file photo, New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell participates during practice at the NFL football team's training camp in Florham Park, N.J. Bell's debut with the New York Jets will not come until the regular season after Adam Gase announced the star running back will be held out of the final two preseason games. Gase says Sunday, Aug. 18, he was leaning toward that decision, but a season-ending knee injury to linebacker Avery Williamson in the Jets' preseason loss at Atlanta on Thursday night sealed it. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Le'Veon Bell will have to wait a little longer for his debut with the New York Jets.

Coach Adam Gase announced Sunday night that the star running back will be held out of the team's final two preseason games.

''I was about 99% sure heading into the preseason,'' Gase said after the Jets' practice at MetLife Stadium. ''It was all based off of how he practiced, conditioning and all those types of things.''

Gase and Bell spoke about the plan when training camp started, and Bell's snaps increased in practiced last week.

Bell has been practicing fully and looked good in training camp after sitting out all last season in a contract dispute with Pittsburgh. Gase and the Jets don't want to take any unnecessary risks with Bell.

''We'll just get him as game ready as possible,'' Gase said. ''He's not really going to know until we get into a real game, but I feel like he's in great shape and he's been contacting about as good as anybody on the practice field.

''So, I feel confident he'll be ready to go (in) Week 1.''

That would be the regular-season opener against Buffalo on Sept. 8. It will mark the first time Bell will play in a game since the Steelers' playoff loss to Jacksonville on Jan. 14, 2018 - a span of nearly 20 months.

''I'll see y'all in September,'' Bell wrote on Twitter about an hour after Gase's announcement.

Gase acknowledged that a season-ending knee injury to linebacker Avery Williamson in the Jets' preseason loss at Atlanta on Thursday night sealed his decision to sit Bell until the regular season.

''Like I said, I was about 99.9% sure what we were going to do,'' Gase said. ''That probably made it 100.''

Williamson tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee with 3:52 left in the first half with mostly backups playing. Cornerback Tevaughn Campbell dived to defend a pass in the end zone and hit into the linebacker's knee.

An MRI on Friday revealed the severity of the injury, and Williamson was placed on injured reserve Saturday.

Gase took the blame for leaving Williamson in the game as late as he did, and said he regretted doing so.

Williamson was playing a new position with the starters at weakside linebacker this season instead of middle linebacker with the arrival of C.J. Mosley. Williamson remained in the game with the second-team defense because backup Neville Hewitt is also playing a new spot, and Hewitt would benefit from the veteran's presence on the field.

''Just looking back on it and hindsight's 20/20, but I wish would've gotten him out of there a series earlier,'' Gase said. ''But, I've talked with him, and it's on me.''

CENTER OF ATTENTION

Recently unretired center Ryan Kalil practiced in team drills for the first time since signing with the Jets nearly three weeks ago.

The 34-year-old Kalil had retired after last season, his 12th with the Carolina Panthers. He has been working to get into football shape, and took the snaps with the first-team offense Sunday night.

''I'm feeling good,'' Kalil said. ''It was exciting. Obviously, I'm a little rusty - not rusty, but just playing slow, you know?''

Kalil said he is still getting used to quarterback Sam Darnold's cadence, which led to a couple of bad snaps, and doesn't quite have the offensive playbook down yet.

''They don't have a Rosetta Stone for this, so it's like learning a new language,'' Kalil said.

Gase said he's hoping to play Kalil in a series in the Jets' next preseason game Saturday night against New Orleans.

''I love football, I just do,'' he said. ''We all do. It took me walking away to know that it was done, that I really wanted it to not be done just quite yet. I'm so fired up.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

S Marcus Maye (shoulder) has shed the red no-contact pinnie and is a full participant at practice. ... LB Jamey Mosley (knee) didn't practice. ... LB Harvey Langi (knee) is set to return this week. ... RT Brandon Shell sat out the game at Atlanta after injuring a knee in practice, but should be OK. ''It was probably more of a scare than anything,'' Gase said.

Player Notes
Rex Burkhead Sep 21 1:40am ET

New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead saw plenty of chances in the Week 2 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. He was the primary receiving back with James White (personal) inactive for this game. Burkhead rushed six times for two yards and caught four of six targets for 47 yards through the air. It was a nice uptick for Burkhead, but he won't be on the fantasy radar going forward. James White is expected to be back for their matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 3.

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Julian Edelman Sep 21 1:40am ET

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman was doing everything he could versus the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2. He caught eight of 11 targets for 179 receiving yards in the loss. He has been held scoreless through the first two games, but this performance was a step in the right direction. The Patriots don't have many weapons, so they will likely continue to lean on Edelman going forward. He should be considered a high-end WR3 versus the Las Vegas Raiders next week.

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N'Keal Harry Sep 21 1:40am ET

New England Patriots wide receiver N'Keal Harry is looking like he is primed for a breakout campaign in 2020. He hauled in eight of his 12 targets for 72 yards during the Week 2 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Harry saw the most targets on the team and tied with Julian Edelman for the most receptions. He should continue to be heavily involved in this offense going forward. Fantasy owners should be able to count on him as a flex option for next week against the Las Vegas Raiders.

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Cam Newton Sep 21 1:30am ET

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton continued his positive play versus the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2. He completed 30 of 44 passing attempts for 397 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Newton also rushed 11 times for 47 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. He was almost able to lead his team to a comeback victory, but was stopped on the goal line. Newton has looked sharp during the first two games of the season. He'll get a favorable matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 3. Fantasy owners should be able to continue to lean on Newton for that one.

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Sony Michel Sep 21 1:30am ET

New England Patriots running back Sony Michel was unable to get anything going on the ground versus the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2. He rushed seven times for 19 yards in the loss. The Patriots basically abandoned the running game in the second half, so Michel didn't see many chances after the second quarter. He'll get a matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 3, but fantasy owners should consider Michel a touchdown dependent RB3 right now.

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Dwayne Haskins Sep 20 10:30pm ET

Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins played efficiently for the second straight week in a loss to the Cardinals on Sunday. Haskins completed 19-of-33 passes for 223 yards and one touchdown and didn't throw an interception for the second consecutive week. He did lose a fumble, but Haskins has just one turnover through two games which was an issue for him as a rookie. He won't put up the flashiest stats, but Haskins seems to be a quality QB2 in fantasy. He'll have a good matchup with Cleveland in Week 3 where he should be started in two-quarterback leagues.

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Carolina Panthers Sep 20 10:30pm ET

The Carolina Panthers Defense allowed 31 points to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a Week 2 loss. To make matters worse, Carolina didn't record a sack, but they did manage to pick up a fumble recovery and an interception. There may not be many promising days with this unit this year in fantasy, though there may be some weeks where they could be streamed. Perhaps they could be streamed in Week 3 against the Chargers, depending upon who they declare as their starting quarterback.

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Joey Slye Sep 20 10:20pm ET

Carolina Panthers kicker Joey Slye made his lone field-goal attempt and both his extra-points in a Week 2 loss. Slye made the most of his opportunities, considering the limited amount of chances in the red zone. The 24-year-old has been efficient so far, making all four field-goals and missing just one extra-point. Slye should continue to be a solid, starting option for fantasy managers when he takes on the Chargers in Week 3.

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Antonio Gibson Sep 20 10:10pm ET

Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson handled 13 carried for 55 yards and his first career touchdown in a loss to the Cardinals on Sunday. Gibson only had one catch for minus-three yards in the passing game, but it was good to see the rookie more involved than Week 1. Gibson's 13 carries were five more than anyone on the team and he was the one handling the red zone touches. Gibson is in a great spot to break out next week against a Browns Defense that's been gashed thus far in 2020.

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Ian Thomas Sep 20 10:10pm ET

Carolina Panthers tight end Ian Thomas wasn't targeted in a Week 2 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Thomas has sleeper potential but completely disappeared in the gameplan, as he inexplicably didn't see a pass thrown his way. This comes a week after he saw two targets in the first game of the season. He could be a streamer down the line, but there's no way to justify using him in any format for fantasy football right now.

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Keelan Cole Sep 20 10:03pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Keelan Cole posted six catches for 58 yards and a touchdown in Week 2 against the Tennessee Titans on seven targets.

Fantasy Spin: Cole averaged just 9.7 yards per reception, but he was still very productive. He is worth a look as a WR5 in most fantasy leagues, with a little more value in PPR formats, heading into Week 3 against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday.

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Curtis Samuel Sep 20 10:00pm ET

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel was targeted just twice against the Buccaneers, though he also had four carries for 26 rushing yards. Samuel did see eight targets in Week 1, but other than that, he has been disappointing so far. One positive to take from this game is that the Panthers utilized him more as a runner, which is something that could add a lot of diversity to their offense. That's a role Samuel could play if Christian McCaffrey (ankle) is forced to miss time. Unfortunately, Samuel will be hard to trust in fantasy lineups until he proves he can produce with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

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Braxton Berrios Sep 20 9:53pm ET

New York Jets WR Braxton Berrios caught six of his eight targets for 59 yards and a touchdown in a 31-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2.

Fantasy Spin: Jamison Crowder was inactive for the contest, and Breshad Perriman and Chris Hogan both suffered injuries. Berrios could have flex value as the best receiver still standing for the Jets, especially if Crowder remains sidelined.

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D.J. Chark Sep 20 9:53pm ET

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Fantasy Spin: Chark was unable to find the end zone like in Week 1, but his fantasy production was about the same with the big bump in receiving yardage. He remains a solid WR3 or flex fantasy option in leagues of 12 or more teams heading into Week 3 against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday.

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Christopher Herndon IV Sep 20 9:53pm ET

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Fantasy Spin: After catching six passes in the opener, Herndon was almost blanked in Week 2, and he is averaging just 6.0 yards per reception so far this season. Outside of dynasty formats, Herndon doesn't need to be rostered.

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Robby Anderson Sep 20 9:50pm ET

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson looked great for the second consecutive game. Anderson caught nine of 10 targets for 109 receiving yards in a loss to Tampa Bay. The 27-year-old has been targeted an impressive 18 times in two games and has been very efficient with his looks. Anderson comes with some weekly risk because of how deep he's usually targeted. However, if he continues to see this kind of volume, he'll have no trouble smashing his ADP. Up next is a matchup with the Chargers, who struggled to contain Chiefs' deep-threat Tyreek Hill.

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Frank Gore Sep 20 9:43pm ET

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Fantasy Spin: With Le'Veon Bell sidelined, Gore assumed a workhorse role. He should remain the lead back while Bell is out, but he only has so much upside in the Jets' struggling offense. At best, he is a volume-based flex option.

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Mike Davis Sep 20 9:40pm ET

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Sam Darnold Sep 20 9:33pm ET

New York Jets QB Sam Darnold completed 21 of his 32 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown in a 31-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2.

Fantasy Spin: The Jets have been a mess on offense to start the year, and Darnold is averaging under 200 yards passing through two games. He isn't even a QB2 candidate at this point.

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Christian McCaffrey Sep 20 9:20pm ET

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey carried the ball 18 times for 59 yards with two touchdowns and caught four of five targets for 29 receiving yards in a Week 2 loss to the Buccaneers. McCaffrey left the game with an ankle injury and will have an MRI on Monday, though the team is optimistic that it's not too serious. If McCaffrey is able to suit up against the Chargers, he'll obviously be in fantasy lineups. However, backups Mike Davis and Trenton Cannon would pick up the slack in the event that he's unable to play. Stay tuned for the results of his MRI.

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