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Jets placing RB Le’Veon Bell on IR with hamstring injury

Le'Veon Bell, Jets

New York Jets head coach Adam Gase expressed regret for allowing running back Le’Veon Bell to play through an injured hamstring on the 2020 NFL season opener. It appears the team is not wasting any time taking a cautious approach with his recovery.

According to Brian Costello of the New York Post, the Jets have opted to place Bell on injured reserve.

Bell initially suffered the injury after hauling in a 30-yard reception during the 21-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 1. Although he tried to test it out, he was eventually forced to exit the game during the third quarter. Gase had already acknowledged the prospect that the three-time Pro Bowler would be sidelined for a few weeks, however, the designation to the IR means he will not be eligible to return until Week 5 against the Arizona Cardinals.

Joining Bell on the IR is rookie wide receiver Denzel Mims, the team’s 2020 second-round draft pick, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Mims missed what would have been his pro debut in Week 1 against Buffalo.

Gase and Bell have been at odds with the latter’s removal from a training camp scrimmage due to a hamstring issue. While the matter was resolved heading into the 2020 campaign, the Jets do not appear to be taking any chances with his health this time around.

New York made sure to secure a solid contingency plan this offseason in running back Frank Gore. The veteran should help serve as a stabilizing factor in the backfield while Bell recovers. Meanwhile, running back La’Mical Perine is still nursing a sprained ankle and it remains to be seen if he will be available for another unfavorable matchup versus the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2.

The Jets signed free agent running back Kalen Ballage to manage the absence of Bell. Ballage was initially released by the Miami Dolphins before agreeing to trade him to New York; in turn, Ballage failed his physical and was subsequent released by Miami. Now he ends up on the Jets anyway.