Le’Veon Bell offered an apology to fantasy football owners who drafted him last year, only to get shut out because of his season-long holdout from the Steelers. But the Jets’ recently signed running back said he’ll make up for lost time this year.
“This is loooong overdue!! but I want to take a moment to apologize to all the fantasy owners who picked me last year,” Bell wrote on his Twitter account, which has 1.8 million followers. “I’m sorry I couldn’t pull through for y’all...but trust me, this year’s about to be wayyyy different, I’m bringing the (two gold trophy emojis) this year.”
Bell said during an interview on ESPN Radio New York on Monday afternoon that he’s itching to play again after not playing a meaningful game since the 2017 playoffs. But he believes the time off actually will add years to his career.
“It’s like football, you recover a little bit, but you have bumps and bruises that don’t fully heal,” he said. “Over the course of your career, your shoulder or knee or ankle or toe, you get used to it hurting. When I took this whole year off and came back, I can’t remember what was hurting in Pittsburgh. I literally can’t remember what aches I had.”
Bell admits he is bothered by fans who have criticized him for sitting out.
“It only bothers me because I feel like some people don’t understand where I’m coming from,” he said. “I made a decision because of how I felt and what I thought was right for me. Some people don’t understand what I was doing.”
Bell said he is open to playing in the preseason, although it’s conceivable coach Adam Gase will hold the prized running back out until the Jets begin the season Sept. 8 against the Bills.
“Whatever coach Gase is up for,” Bell said. “If he wants me to play in a couple of series, I’m open to it. If he doesn’t want to do it, I’m open to it.”
Bell said he’s optimistic about the Jets’ chances this season but doesn’t want to get too far ahead of himself.
“Personally, I want to take it one game at a time,” he said. “That’s all we can do. I’m not worried about the preseason games. I have to perfect my craft.”