Report: Le'Veon Bell Seen Bowling Night Before Missing Game With Flu

Gase Says Running Back Won't Be Disciplined

Ryan Chatelain
December 10, 2019 - 1:29 pm
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Le'Veon Bell has some explaining to do after he was reportedly spotted bowling until 1 a.m. the night before the Jets had a game he was supposedly too sick to play in.

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The star running back was ruled out of Sunday's home game against the Miami Dolphins while he battled the flu, the Jets said. Bell missed practices Thursday, Friday and Saturday and was not seen at MetLife Stadium during Gang Green's 22-21 win.

But witnesses told the New York Post that Bell, sporting orange leather pants, was out bowling at Boonton Lanes in Boonton, New Jersey, from 10:30 p.m. until the bowling alley closed. 

It was not clear if Bell, 27, was drinking, although there was alcohol at his party's table, the Post reported. A driver waited outside for him in a white Mercedes-Benz, according to the newspaper.

Le'Veon Bell
Douglas DeFelice/USA TODAY Images

Coach Adam Gase said Tuesday that he wished Bell hadn't gone out but that the running back did not violate any team rules. 

"That wasn't his fault that we said he was still contagious," Gase said. "That's what the doctors told him. I'd rather him not be. I'd rather him be at home just getting better. But that'll be a conversation we have.

"What am I going to discipline him for? I can't tell him you have to stay in your house."

Gase admitted the incident was bad optics.

A three-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bell was the Jets' highest-profile free agent acquisition last offseason, signing a four-year, $52.5 million contract with $27 million guaranteed. But he has rushed for just 589 yards through 12 games while averaging a career-low 3.2 yards per carry. Meanwhile, the Jets are just 5-8. 

Gase and former general manager Mike Maccagnan reportedly clashed over the Bell signing, with Gase balking at the price paid for the running back. New GM Joe Douglas reportedly listened to offers for Bell before October's trade deadline.

If they trade Bell before June 1, the Jets would be saddled with $6 million in dead money against the 2020 salary cap but free up $9.5 million, according to OverTheCap.com. 

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