After trying out free agent Le’Veon Bell on Monday the Ravens agreed to add the 29-year old running back to the practice squad.
The Ravens have had a tough few weeks at the running back position, after losing J.K. Dobbins to a season ending ACL tear in the Ravens final preseason game. Third string running back Justice Hill who had missed most of training camp with an ankle injury, tore his achilles during last week’s practice effectively ending his season.
This left the Ravens in search of a third running back as they currently only have two healthy backs on the active roster in Gus Edwards and Ty’Son Williams.
Bell was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft out of Michigan State. Bell spent five seasons with the Steelers rushing for 5,336 yards and 35 touchdowns for the black and gold. Adding three pro bowls in 2014, 2016, and 2017.
After holding out the 2018 season as Bell looked for a new contract from the Steelers. Bell would sign with the New York Jets in 2019 for four-years $52.5 million, $35 million guaranteed, making him the second highest paid running back in the NFL. Bell would finish his first year with the Jets rushing for 789 yards and three touchdowns. While also catching 66 passes for 461 yards and one touchdown. Bell however, would fail to live up to his large contract having his most disappointing season of his career in 2020. After being placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury suffered in week one, Bell would returned in week five. Bell would became unhappy with the Jets and head coach Adam Gase pushing the Jets to look for a trade. The Jets were unable to find a proper trade suitor and would release Bell three days after their week five contest.
Bell would be picked up by the Kansas City Chiefs four days later signing a one-year deal. Bell would see limited playing time as the Chiefs reached Super Bowl 55, eventually losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Bell would finish the 2020 season with 328 yards on 82 carries adding two rushing touchdowns. The Chiefs and Bell would part ways at seasons end.
Bell’s addition to the practice squad puts the Ravens over the league limit for veterans allowed on the practice squad. The Ravens currently have the full limit of six. The Ravens added veteran linebacker Josh Bynes to the practice squad on Monday joining a veteran list that already included Jordan Richards, Anthony Levine, Chris Smith, Andre Smith, and Justin Ellis. One of these veterans must be released or possibly placed on the active roster as Justice Hill moves to injured reserve to make room for Bell.
Its unclear if or when Bell will be added to the active roster, or if any additional moves will be made to add another running back. The Ravens are less than a week away from their week one Monday night contest against the Las Vegas Raiders.
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