The Baltimore Ravens are taking a chance on an old opponent in search of depth at running back.
According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Le’Veon Bell is returning to the AFC North and signing with the Ravens practice squad.
The news was initially reported by ESPN.
Bell was the most famous figure to visit Baltimore on Monday, along with Devonta Freeman, due to the Ravens’ RB corps being ravaged by injury, and he’s staying and signing.
Not shortly after the news broke, a clearly motivated and prepared Bell weighed in on social media with a highlight package of him working out.
Bell, 29, was regarded as one of the best running backs in the NFL when he was with the Pittsburgh Steelers and faced the Ravens twice a year.
Bell, on the other hand, has slipped from that elite status.
Bell inked a long-term deal with the Jets after sitting out the 2018 season with the Steelers. Bell’s stint in New York, like his one in Pittsburgh, ended badly, and he was freed. Bell split 2020 between the Jets and the Chiefs, but was only used sparingly with the latter and expressed his displeasure in the summer.
The Ravens have been frustrated this offseason by the loss of starting running back J.K. Dobbins for the season, as well as running back Justice Hill for the whole 2021 season.
Despite the fact that he is more than three years removed from when he was the Steelers’ bell cow running back who routinely destroyed defenses, Bell will always elicit a sense of anticipation because of what was.
Still, he’s only on the practice squad for now, with the Ravens relying on Gus Edwards and, most likely, Ty’Son Williams in the season opener on Monday night.
Only time will tell how well the Ravens and Bell mesh, and whether or not he’ll be promoted off the practice squad and given some playing time. For the time being, it’s a fascinating development in Baltimore.