New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell was placed on injured reserve with an ailing hamstring, the team announced on Tuesday.
Bell wasn’t the lone notable Jet to be placed on injured reserve. Rookie wide receiver Denzel Mims (hamstring) and starting linebacker Blake Cashman (groin) were also put on IR.
Also on Tuesday, the Jets signed former Miami Dolphins running back Kalen Ballage. The team previously attempted to acquire Ballage in a trade last month, however that deal was voided after he failed a physical because of a hamstring injury.
Bell, who is eligible to return in three weeks, exited during the third quarter of New York’s 27-17 setback to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
The 28-year-old Bell injured his hamstring late in the second quarter after falling awkwardly on an incomplete pass in which the running back drew a defensive holding penalty. He played five plays in the second half, then came out for good once the injury’s impact on his ability to play was apparent.
“I’m mad at myself that I let him go back in there in the second half,” Jets coach Adam Gase said. “That play looked bad, because I’m watching him — I thought it was going to be a touchdown — he got grabbed and then just kind of the way he planted and torqued, it looked real bad. I saw him grab his hamstring, and he wouldn’t come out.”
Frank Gore, 37, is expected to assume a bigger workload on Sunday when the Jets (0-1) host one of his former teams, the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers (0-1).
Gore, who is the third leading rusher in NFL history with 15,371 yards, rushed for 24 on six carries in the season-opening loss to Buffalo.
Bell had 14 yards rushing and 32 yards on a pair of receptions against the Bills.
A two-time first-team All Pro and three-time Pro Bowl selection, Bell sat out the 2018 season in a contract dispute with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He signed a four-year, $52.5 million contract with the Jets when he became a free agent in March 2019.
Bell rushed for 789 yards in 15 games last season, marking his lowest rushing total since 2015. He caught 66 passes for 461 yards.
Mims, 22, was a second-round pick (59th overall) in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Baylor.
Cashman, 24, had one tackle on Sunday. He had 40 with one fumble recovery in seven appearances last season.