The Baltimore Ravens are signing former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell to their practice squad, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. According to Schefter, Bell will be promoted to the 53 “when ready.”
As his tweet notes, the Ravens’ backfield has been hit hard by injury. J.K. Dobbins suffered a season-ending knee injury during the preseason while Justice Hill suffered a torn Achilles in a recent practice. It left the Ravens’ run-first offense thin at running back, with the only proven runner being Gus Edwards.
Bell, 29, has had quite the journey since leaving the Steelers following his 2018 contract dispute, sitting out the entire season after refusing to play under the franchise tag for a second time. He signed a big contract with the New York Jets, but like everyone else in Adam Gase’s offense, struggled mightily. He spent just 1.5 seasons with the team, released last October, but signed a one-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs four days later. His impact was minimal, carrying the ball 63 times with two rushing scores. The Chiefs opted not to re-sign him in the offseason, and Bell has been a free agent until today.
A second-round pick and star with the Steelers. Bell rushed for over 5,300 yards and 81 rushing scores with Pittsburgh. A prolific receiver, he repeatedly set the franchise record for receptions by a running back, including a career-high 85 of them in 2017. Bell’s 807 rushing yards against Baltimore are his most against any opponent, easily topping other AFC North foes like the Bengals (642 yards) and Browns (607 yards).
The Ravens and Steelers won’t meet until Week 13, Sunday, December 5th. They’ll play again in the regular season finale, a game in which could have plenty of stakes for both sides.