For Whom The (Le’Veon) Bell Tolls

Bucs head coach Bruce Arians hopes can play against Carolina on Sunday.

click to enlarge Bell spent most of the beginning of his career as a workhorse for the Steelers. - STEELERS
Steelers
Bell spent most of the beginning of his career as a workhorse for the Steelers.
As you might’ve heard by now, the Bucs lost starting running back Leonard Fournette to a hamstring injury during Sunday’s loss, adding a brutal blow to an already thin offense.

Their current options for a potential replacement include Ronald Jones and Ke’Shawn Vaughn. Jones is a very solid option who ran for over 1,000 yards last season but is a bit inconsistent as a receiving back. Vaughn is a second-year back out of Vanderbilt who has yet to establish himself as a consistent NFL player. So over the next few weeks, there’s now a big hole where TB12 might’ve dumped off passes when backup receivers Tyler Johnson and Scotty Miller can’t get open.
The Bucs attempted to address the problem this week by signing veteran back and former Steeler Le’Veon Bell, who Bucs head coach Bruce Arians hopes can play against Carolina on Sunday.

If you’re wondering where the hell he’s been the past year, just look at the Jets, Chiefs and Ravens, where Bell bounced around, producing very little worth remembering. But if you squint really hard, you could look at the potential issue of rust and a lack of playing time as a positive.
Bell spent most of the beginning of his career as a workhorse for the Steelers, playing alongside current Buc and recently suspended wide receiver Antonio Brown. Bell took a ton of touches, even leading the NFL in carries in 2017 with 321 while also hauling in a ridiculous 85 receptions that same season, putting a lot of mileage on his knees. However, thanks to Bell’s involuntary 6-week sabbatical, the Bucs might be able to regain some of the magic he made wearing the black and yellow.

The Bucs will certainly need it. Wide receiver Chris Godwin has been ruled out for the rest of the year with a torn ACL, and Fournette’s aforementioned hamstring injury has him on imjured reserve. The Bucs haven’t made any definitive statements on whether or not Lenny will be good to go for the playoffs.

This is the unfortunate reality the Bucs are in; they experienced some great luck last year with the injury bug, it was only a matter of time before it came back to bite them.

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