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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
Adoree' Jackson Sep 28 9:13pm ET

Tennessee Titans OT Isaiah Wilson (illness) and CB Adoree' Jackson (knee) may return to practice this week, according to head coach Mike Vrabel. Wilson is currently on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, while Jackson is on the Reserve/Injured list.

From TheHuddle

Nick Kwiatkoski Sep 28 9:13pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders OT Trent Brown (calf) and LB Nick Kwiatkoski (pectoral) may be available to play in the Week 4 game, according to head coach Jon Gruden.

From TheHuddle

D.J. Chark Sep 28 9:03pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars WR DJ Chark Jr. (back, chest) was undergoing tests Monday, Sept. 28.

Fantasy Spin: Chark was not able to play last week and is questionable for the Week 4 game. Fantasy players should keep an eye on his practice participation during the week. He can be a No. 3 receiver in fantasy leagues this week if he plays.

From TheHuddle

Trey Burton Sep 28 8:53pm ET

Indianapolis Colts CB Rock Ya-Sin (illness), TE Trey Burton (calf) and DT Sheldon Day (knee) are expected to return to practice this week.

From TheHuddle

Kevin Johnson Sep 28 8:33pm ET

Cleveland Browns LB Mack Wilson (knee) and CB Kevin Johnson (liver) will receive more playing time moving forward after returning to the lineup in Week 3, according to head coach Kevin Stefanski.

From TheHuddle

Denzel Ward Sep 28 8:33pm ET

Cleveland Browns CB Denzel Ward (groin) hopefully will be ready for the Week 4 game. Ward sat out the second half of the Week 3 game because of a groin injury.

From TheHuddle

Sam Darnold Sep 28 8:10pm ET

New York Jets head coach Adam Gase remains committed to struggling quarterback Sam Darnold after an 0-3 start. Darnold had three interceptions -- two which were returned for touchdowns -- in the Week 3 blowout loss to the Colts. Veteran backup Joe Flacco (neck) underwent surgery in April and has been out the first three games. Flacco didn't start practicing until last week and might be inactive again this Thursday against the Broncos. Mike White, who has no regular season experience, is currently the backup until Flacco gets healthy. It's not all Darnold's fault, as Gang Green's best offensive players -- Le'Veon Bell, Jamison Crowder and Breshad Perriman -- have all been sidelined by injuries in recent weeks. Until further notice, it's best to avoid this entire offense, even against a banged-up Broncos Defense in Week 4. Darnold has 32 interceptions in 29 career starts.

From RotoBaller

Jordan Jenkins Sep 28 8:03pm ET

New York Jets LB Jordan Jenkins (shoulder) is considered day-to-day because of a shoulder injury.

From TheHuddle

Jerick McKinnon Sep 28 7:53pm ET

San Francisco 49ers RB Jerick McKinnon (ribs) is considered day-to-day because of injured ribs.

Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players will need to keep an eye on McKinnon's practice participation during the week. He received a majority of the touches at running back last week, but his role this week is uncertain since Raheem Mostert may be able to play. McKinnon can be a No. 2 running back or flex option if he receive most of the work at running back this week.

From TheHuddle

Byron Jones Sep 28 7:53pm ET

Miami Dolphins CB Byron Jones (groin) did not participate in practice Monday, Sept. 28.

From TheHuddle

Dee Ford Sep 28 7:43pm ET

San Francisco 49ers DE Dee Ford (back) will not be able to play in Week 4 and may be a candidate for the Reserve/Injured list, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan.

From TheHuddle

Sep 28 7:43pm ET

San Francisco 49ers LB Mark Nzeocha (quadriceps) likely will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list because of a quadriceps injury.

From TheHuddle

Jordan Reed Sep 28 7:33pm ET

San Francisco 49ers TE Jordan Reed (knee) suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament during the Week 3 game and will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan. Reed will be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Fantasy Spin: Reed was filling in for George Kittle but may not return until December because of the injury. Kittle has a chance to return this week, so fantasy players should monitor the situation. He is a must-start option if he plays.

From TheHuddle

Sammy Watkins Sep 28 7:20pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins (concussion, neck) is active for Monday night's meeting against the Baltimore Ravens. An inconsistent weapon for quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Watkins is best viewed as a risky DFS play this week for fantasy managers looking to differentiate their lineups from everyone else's, because you can't bet on Watkins having a solid night against a strong Ravens Defense. Still, the possibility that he finds the end zone will always exist in this high-powered Chiefs offense.

From RotoBaller

Justice Hill Sep 28 7:20pm ET

Baltimore Ravens running back Justice Hill is a healthy scratch on Monday night against the Chiefs, making it three weeks in a row that the second-year back hasn't played. Fantasy managers had high hopes for Hill last year, but it's become clear that he's not going to have a consistent role -- or even any role -- in Baltimore. Hill shouldn't be rostered in redraft leagues and is barely rosterable in shallow dynasty leagues.

From RotoBaller

Chris Moore Sep 28 7:13pm ET

The Baltimore Ravens have declared RB Justice Hill, QB Trace McSorley, OG Ben Bredeson, DT Justin Madubuike, DT Broderick Washington, S Geno Stone and WR Chris Moore inactive for Week 3.

From TheHuddle

Alex Okafor Sep 28 7:13pm ET

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared DE Alex Okafor, OG Andrew Wylie, CB Thakarius Keyes, DE Demone Harris and TE Ricky Seals-Jones inactive for Week 3.

From TheHuddle

Sammy Watkins Sep 28 7:13pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins (concussion, neck) is officially active for the team's Week 3 game.

Fantasy Spin: Watkins had a terrific Week 1 performance but was held to 11 yards last week. He will be facing a tough Baltimore Ravens defense this week but could be at least a flex option in leagues.

From TheHuddle

Jordan Reed Sep 28 7:10pm ET

San Francisco 49ers tight end Jordan Reed (knee) left Sunday's game against the New York Giants after injuring his knee on an end zone target. According to head coach Kyle Shanahan, Reed has a significant knee sprain that could keep him out between six and eight weeks. This is awful news for Reed, who has struggled with injuries throughout his career. He can be dropped in all fantasy leagues at this point. Hopefully he'll be able to progress through the injury and return later in the year.

From RotoBaller