FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Le’Veon Bell and Adam Gase met Tuesday to discuss probably the most talked-about and dissected trip to a bowling alley in Jets’ history.
Bell went bowling into the early hours Sunday morning after being ruled out of last week’s game because of the flu. The Jets running back doesn’t feel he did anything wrong. Gase agreed to a certain extent.
Gase said Bell wouldn’t be disciplined, but it didn’t sit too well with the Jets coach. He acknowledged it was a bad optic.
“I’d rather him not be [out bowling],” Gase said. “I’d rather him be at home just getting better.”
Bell was sent home from practice Thursday. According to Gase, the doctors said Bell was contagious and couldn’t be around the team. The Jets didn’t want him in the locker room or the team meeting the night before the game for that reason.
The doctors told Bell on Saturday that he couldn’t play against the Dolphins. Bell said he felt better, and he tried to talk the doctors into letting him play. But he said they told him he couldn’t because he had “lost eight, nine pounds” and they were concerned about his energy and strength.
Bell also said the doctors “did advise me to get out of the house and move a little bit.” So he did. But Gase felt that Bell being seen bowling was a bad look.
“Yeah, I would say,” Gase said.
Bell didn’t see it the same way.
“I can see from the outside of it if I was playing Sunday and they’d seen me bowling,” Bell said. “Not if I’m not playing.”
“Me and coach Gase talked about,” Bell added. “He said certain perspective it’s going to look a certain way. That’s the only reason why I wish I wasn’t seen doing it. I don’t feel bad about what I did. I didn’t break any rules. I wasn’t a distraction until now that you all seen me bowl.”
When asked about disciplining Bell, Gase said, “What am I going to discipline him for? I can’t tell him you have to stay in your house.”
Gase tried shrugging it off, and keep his focus on preparing for Lamar Jackson and the Ravens on Thursday night. Bell said he would play.
“He’d better,” Gase said. “We’re out of guys.”
Bell’s backup Bilal Powell has an ankle injury and the flu. It sounds doubtful that he will play Thursday.
The Jets are not practicing, just walking through in this short week, and Powell is not participating. Ty Mongomery, the Jets No. 3 back, has been listed as limited with foot and hip issues.
Bell said he’s not worried about the weight loss. He’s been running the last couple of days to get his wind back.
“Right now I feel good,” he said. “I want to go out there, make sure I make enough plays for my team, try to gain as much weight as I can back, make sure I’m hydrated. Just try to find some energy somewhere.”
It’s been a rough season for Bell and the Jets. They gave him a four-year, $52.5 millon contract in free agency. But Bell and the Jets (5-8) have underachieved.
This is latest chapter of the Bell saga that could lead to him being elsewhere next season. Bell couldn’t believe all the attention this received, but something shocked him more.
“The bigger surprise is I rolled a 251 off the flu,” Bell said. “That’s the bigger surprise. Career high.”