Le’Veon Bell nearly watched the Jets offense as much as he played in it on Sunday. But he still got his touches.
This was Adam Gase’s plan: To get Bell some rest in hopes that it will benefit the Jets and their star running back over the final six weeks of the season.
"We’re trying to keep him as fresh as possible throughout the game but at the same time give him his touches,” Gase said. “I feel like he’s had a lot of touches this entire year. We’re trying to make sure we keep him rolling throughout the rest of the season. We still got a lot of football left.
"We want to be able to make sure that we have a strong 16-game season from him.”
The Jets, for the first time all season, used a running back-by-committee approach in the 34-17 victory over the Redskins. Bell played only 39 of 71 snaps, and finished with 20 touches, 92 total yards and a rushing touchdown.
Bilal Powell played 16 snaps and had some good runs. Ty Montgomery played 15 snaps. The Jets set season highs for rushing yards (115) and carries (33).
"I just think all those guys, they deserve to play,” Gase said. “They practice hard every day. We’re trying to mix in some of the runs that we’re doing. There’s certain things those guys do really well.
“We’re always trying to give Lev more things and trying not to let anybody be predictable, as far as [opponents] being able to say: ‘They’re always doing this when Lev’s in there.’ We’re trying to mix it up.”
The Jets have allowed an average of just 42.3 yards rushing over the past three games, and now have the NFL’s No. 1 run defense. They’re giving up 79.1 yards on the ground per game. They’ve also had 16 sacks over the past three games. That’s the most for the Jets in a three-game span since 1981. The Jets had just nine sacks in the first seven games.
Left tackle Kelvin Beachum aggravated his ankle injury. But Gase said it’s not as bad as it was when he first injured it and missed three games . . . Rookie left guard Chuma Edoga had an MRI on his ankle and knee after having to leave Sunday’s game. Gase said Edoga is day-to-day and is optimistic he can play Sunday against the Raiders.