Le’Veon Bell’s second and perhaps final season as a Jet is already off to a bad start.
The Jets placed Bell on IR on Tuesday. Bell will be sidelined at least three games with a hamstring injury that he suffered in the Jets’ Week 1 loss to Buffalo.
Bell is eligible to return for the Jets in Week 5 against Arizona.
Additionally, the Jets put rookie wide receiver Denzel Mims (hamstring) and inside linebacker Blake Cashman (groin) on IR. Mims was hurt in practice last week. Cashman, a starting inside linebacker, was injured in Sunday’s loss.
The Jets also signed running back Kalen Ballage to the active roster. They acquired Ballage during training camp from Miami but the deal was voided because he failed a physical. The Jets signed Ballage, who played for Adam Gase in Miami, outright on Tuesday.
The running back depth chart for Sunday’s game against the 49ers is 37-year-old Frank Gore, Ballage and likely Josh Adams, presuming he’s elevated from the practice team for the second straight week. Rookie running back La’Mical Perine remains sidelined with an ankle injury.
Losing Bell is big for a Jets offense that struggled to move the football Sunday.
Bell came into training camp in the best shape of his professional career. He was looking to have a bounce-back year after rushing for 789 yards and scoring four total touchdowns in the first year of a four-year, $52.5 million contract.
Gase talked about using Bell more in the passing game. Ironically, Bell got injured going out for a pass. He was held by Bills linebacker AJ Klein and fell awkwardly. Bell reached for his hamstring. He totaled 46 yards of offense against Buffalo.
The Jets are looking for depth at inside linebacker. Neville Hewitt and Harvey Langi are the only healthy ones on the active roster. Paul Worrilow met with the Jets on Tuesday. Worrilow was with them last year.
Avery Williamson missed the opener with a hamstring injury. It's unclear whether he'll be able to return this week. Patrick Onwuasor (knee) is on IR. Middle linebacker C.J. Mosley opted out of 2020 because of concerns over COVID-19.
The Jets could elevate former Giant Alec Ogletree from the practice squad.