The Jets did not play running back Le'Veon Bell in their first preseason game and it doesn't sound like there's tremendous urgency to play him against the Falcons this Thursday either.
Head coach Adam Gase said this week that experiencing the "flow of the game" might be beneficial for Bell ahead of the regular season, but balances that with need for Bell "to be good for Week One" when it comes to making plans for exhibition games. Gase said it is something he'll talk about with Bell, who seems to be on a similar wavelength as the head coach.
Bell said he is "definitely ready" to play, but knows the team is "going to protect me from myself" and believes it won't take much for him to be back up to speed after his extended hiatus from game action.
"I don't really necessarily need [preseason reps]," Bell said, via the New York Daily News. "If I get them, they'll help. But I don't think I'll need them. I think once we get out there . . . football is football. I've been playing for so long. It naturally will come back to me. I'll get adjusted to the game . . . in a couple plays and I'm ready to go."
Bell could get those couple of plays in the team's third preseason game, but it doesn't sound like anyone should be surprised if the wait to see Bell in the Jets lineup extends into September.