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.''
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.
New England Patriots rookie running back Damien Harris and rookie wide receiver Jakobi Meyers are both healthy scratches for Week 2 against the Dolphins. Both players have exciting long-term appeal for those in dynasty leagues, but the Patriots are just too stacked at running back and receiver now for either of them to make an impact. If anything were to happen to Sony Michel this year, Harris could be in line for a big role and would be an immediate addition off the waiver wire in redraft leagues. With the Antonio Brown signing last week, Meyers gets pushed out of the rotation among Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon and Phillip Dorsett.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper is being extra patient in contract-extension talks and is the only Dallas player less likely to re-sign this season, according to league sources. With Saints wideout Michael Thomas landing a deal that pays him $20 million a year and Falcons receiver Julio Jones earning $22 million per year, Cooper is intentionally being patient. The 25-year-old caught six passes for 106 yards and a score in the team's Week 1 win over the Giants, and he has an excellent matchup with the Redskins in Week 2. He's locked in as a WR1 in the second game of the season.
Seattle Seahawks defensive end Ziggy Ansah (shoulder) is inactive in Week 2 against the Steelers. Ansah will have to wait another week to make his debut with the team. The Seahawks are being very cautious with the injury-prone pass-rusher, but he should be back soon. It's good news for Ben Roethlisberger and company as they look to bounce back from their 33-3 drubbing at the hands of the Patriots last week. Big Ben will have QB1 appeal this Sunday, while fantasy owners are best off leaving Seattle's defense on the bench.
Buffalo Bills tight end Tyler Kroft (foot) is inactive in Week 2 against the Giants for the second straight week. Kroft is improving, though, and should be able to make his season debut in Week 3. However, Kroft will be a bottom-barrel TE2 whenever he does suit up. Rookies Tommy Sweeney and Dawson Knox will continue to split snaps at the position in the meantime. Neither of them are options in redraft leagues, although they have some stash appeal in dynasty/keeper formats.
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (knee) is active for Week 2 against the Lions. It was reported early Sunday that Williams would likely be just a red-zone threat for the Bolts on Sunday if he played. That means that the Chargers will predictably lean on running back Austin Ekeler and Keenan Allen with tight end Hunter Henry (knee) out indefinitely. Williams is an extremely risky and touchdown-dependent WR4/5 while playing through his injury. Travis Benjamin has a better shot at big-play potential with Williams' snaps being limited, but he's an even worse flex option in deep leagues.
Arizona Cardinals rookie wide receiver Andy Isabella is a healthy inactive for Week 2 against the Ravens. The 22-year-old didn't have a single target in Week 1 and is well behind fellow rookie teammate Keesean Johnson on the depth chart. He also has Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, Michael Crabtree and Damiere Byrd ahead of him, so Isabella definitely belongs on the waiver wire in redraft leagues. The only place you're stashing him is in dynasty/keeper leagues. Expect the Cardinals to mix in the veteran Crabtree more against Baltimore, which hurts the upside for Johnson.
Baltimore Ravens running back Mark Ingram (shoulder), tight end Mark Andrews (foot) and rookie wide receiver Marquise Brown (hip) are all active in Week 2 against the Cardinals, as expected. All three players had huge weeks in the season opener and could all shine again against a weak Cardinals Defense at home. Ingram has clear RB1 upside in what could be the team's second straight blowout win. Andrews is a firm TE1 after rookie T.J. Hockenson lit up Arizona's D last week. Brown is the most risky flex play at wideout after playing just 14 snaps in his NFL debut. There's big-play potential with the Cardinals without their top two cornerbacks, but Brown will be as boom or bust as they get.
San Francisco 49ers rookie defensive end Nick Bosa (ankle) is active in Week 2 against the Bengals. Bosa had his snaps limited in his NFL debut last week against the Buccaneers, but when he was on the field he was productive, so his presence on Sunday won't be good news for quarterback Andy Dalton in front of a shaky offensive line. Bosa cannot yet be trusted in IDP leagues as the Niners try to get him past his nagging ankle issue. While San Fran's D looked much-improved last week, they also shouldn't be in fantasy lineups just yet.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (ankle) is active for Week 2 against the 49ers. Mixon does have a good matchup against a Niners team that gave up healthy ground yardage against Tampa in the season opener, but Mixon will have a lot of volatility and could have his snaps limited while playing through his injury. Consider him a risky low-end RB2/high-end RB3/flex, with Giovani Bernard mixing in to spell him. Bernard would've had RB2 upside if Mixon was inactive, but instead he'll revert back to being an unexciting flex option.
The Los Angeles Chargers have declared DL Cortez Broughton, TE Hunter Henry, C Michael Davis, LB Jatavis Brown, PK Mike Badgley, QB Easton Stick and S Roderic Teamer inactive for Week 2.
The Tennessee Titans have declared OT Kevin Pamphile, LB Reggie Gilbert, C Hroniss Grasu, CB Tye Smith, DL Brent Urban, RB David Fluellen and OG Nate Davis inactive for Week 2.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared CB Justin Layne, DL Isaiah Buggs, FB Roosevelt Nix, LB Jayrone Elliott, OT Chukwuma Okorafor, OL Fred Johnson and TE Zach Gentry inactive for Week 2.
The Dallas Cowboys have declared OG Adam Redmond, S Donovan Wilson, DE Taco Charlton, WR Tavon Austin, DT Trysten Hill, OL Brandon Knight and LB Luke Gifford inactive for Week 2.
The Seattle Seahawks have declared WR David Moore, S Tedric Thompson, C Joey Hunt, CB Neiko Thorpe, WR Gary Jennings, DT Poona Ford and DL Ziggy Ansah inactive for Week 2.
Detroit Lions left tackle Taylor Decker (back) has been ruled out in Week 2 against the Chargers. It's a downgrade for quarterback Matthew Stafford on Sunday, and he could be facing a lot of pressure from pass-rushers Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa. Stafford looked good in Week 1 throwing the football, but that was also against a Cardinals team missing their top cornerbacks. Consider Stafford a low-end QB2 in a much tougher matchup against the Bolts.
The Miami Dolphins have declared WR Albert Wilson, SS Reshad Jones, OT Bryan Witzmann, RB Myles Gaskin, OG Chris Reed, DE Trent Harris and OT Isaiah Prince inactive for Week 2.
The New York Giants have declared TE Garrett Dickerson, QB Alex Tanney, WR Sterling Shepard, WR Darius Slayton, RB Paul Perkins, OG Chad Slade and OL Eric Smith inactive for Week 2.
The Indianapolis Colts have declared DE Kemoko Turay, LB Jabaal Sheard, S Rolan Milligan, OT Le'Raven Clark, S Marvell Tell, RB Jonathan Williams and TE Hale Hentges inactive for Week 2.
The Arizona Cardinals have declared WR Andy Isabella, OG Jeremy Vujnovich, C Lamont Gaillard, DL Jonathan Bullard, OT Brett Toth, OT Joshua Miles and DL Michael Dogbe inactive for Week 2.