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Le’Veon Bell leaves Jets practice with illness, status for Sunday in doubt

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell, mired in the worst statistical season of his career, is sick and his status for Sunday is in doubt.

Bell was sent home Friday and missed his second straight day of practice.

“I think I’ll have more information probably by [Saturday],” coach Adam Gase said. “We’ll see how he feels.”

Gase stopped short of saying Bell will play against the Miami Dolphins, saying “I don’t know.”

“The biggest thing was get him checked out and get him out of the building so nobody else gets sick,” Gase said.

Tight end Ryan Griffin and cornerback Maurice Canady also have battled illnesses this week, but they’re expected to play.

Not expected to play is safety Jamal Adams, who missed practice for the third straight day after spraining his left ankle in last week’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Cornerback Arthur Maulet (calf) and nickel back Brian Poole (concussion) probably will sit out, meaning they will be without three of their top five defensive backs.

If Bell can’t play, the Jets will lean on Bilal Powell and Ty Montgomery, with Powell likely receiving the larger share of the workload. They’ve combined for only 51 carries, as the entire running back corps has revolved around Bell.

This has been a difficult season for Bell, who signed a free-agent contract worth $52.5 million over four years. He’s not getting the ball as much as he did with the Pittsburgh Steelers and his production is down. Bell has rushed for only 589 yards on 183 carries, a career-low 3.2 average. He has 55 receptions, second on the team, but he’s averaging only 83 total yards per game – about 46 below his career average.

He seemed frustrated after getting only 10 carries last week, but he hasn’t complained about his role. Bell didn’t speak with reporters this week, but he addressed the lack of work in his weekly podcast on Sirius/XM.

Noting that he’s used to getting the ball more than 20 times per game, Bell said, “It’s been funny this year because it hasn’t happened. I understand, you know, offense is starting to come together, and guys are starting to learn, and we’ve got a new system, and new players up front, and we’ve got new coaches and things like that.

“But I think, you know, for me, I would love to put the game on my back and take games over. I haven’t had one of those games this year yet. A lot of people don’t think I’m the same player or that I can’t do that. That’s just because I haven’t had the opportunity really to show. As time goes on we’ll get better. We’ll find a way to make things shake.”



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