As Sam Darnold recovers, the Jets release running back Le’Veon Bell
VINCENT DAVIS | 10/15/2020, midnight
About one-third of the football season has ended. Already, one coach (Dan Quinn, Atlanta Falcons), one general manager (Thomas Dimitroff, Falcons) and a coach/general manager (Bill O’ Brien, Houston Texans) have been fired as their former teams have a combined record of 1-9. Could this be a trend? Is Jets head coach Adam Gase next in line?
The 0-5 Jets have certainly been hit with adversity. Sam Darnold’s shoulder injury suffered against the Denver Broncos in Week 4 being their most notable setback. The injury didn’t bring tears to Darnold’s eyes the way Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott’s horrible injury caused him to shed tears. Prescott painfully fractured his right ankle against the Giants on Sunday. But Darnold’s injury erased the smile and fleeting memories the Jets’ QB had after his 46-yard touchdown run versus the Broncos.
Darnold, who missed Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium against the Arizona Cardinals while still recovering from the injury, is questionable for this Sunday’s game versus the Miami Dolphins on the road. He was replaced by veteran Joe Flacco who was unremarkable in going 18-for-33 for 195 yards with one touchdown in the Jets’ 30-10 loss.
Penalties and a lack of execution on both sides of the ball have been issues the Jets haven’t been able to overcome. There have been sporadic moments of good play but little positive consistency. “We just haven’t been able to get out of our own way,” said Flacco after Sunday’s defeat. Sunday’s game also marked the return of running back Le’Veon Bell, who had missed the previous three games with a hamstring injury.
Bell’s comeback was expected to enhance the Jets’ running and passing games. But his numbers on Sunday amounted to a mere 60 yards on 13 carries and one catch for seven yards. The result? A disgruntled Bell was released by the Jets on Tuesday after management met with both him and his agent. The Jets explained their decision in a statement issued upon Bell being let go.
“After having conversations with Le’Veon and his agent, and exploring potential trade options over the past couple of days, we have made the decision to release Le’Veon,” it read.
The statement went on to add, “The Jets organization appreciates Le’Veon’s efforts during his time here and we know he worked hard to make significant contributions to this team. We believe this decision is in the best interests of both parties and wish him future success.”
The 28-year-old Bell, in his eighth NFL season, is an eight-year vested player, not subject to waiver. He officially became a free agent yesterday (Wednesday, Oct. 14) afternoon. His immediate response was a post on his Twitter account of a praying hands emoji.