New York Jets coach Adam Gase told reporters Sunday that his Pro Bowl running back will not play in the preseason. It was a scenario Gase said he was already considering. A season-ending injury to linebacker Avery Williamson, who tore his ACL in last Thursday's game against the Falcons, convinced Gase to sit Bell for good before the Jets take on the Buffalo Bills in Week 1.
Bell, who will have gone more than 600 days between games by then, said last week he was on board with playing in the preseason but also prepared to be held out.
"I understand they're going to protect me from myself," Bell said, via Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News. "I'm definitely ready to play. And play against people other than my teammates... and guys who don't know our plays. It's hard having to be patient and wait, but at the same time, I know it's for the better good. When Week 1 comes around, I'm going to be happy out there playing. OK, now the lights are on. It's time to go."
Gase previously expressed his concern that Bell might not be totally adjusted to the flow of the game given the prolonged absence. But the injury risk proved to be the trump card for another NFL star.