Then the Ravens went out and added both Devonta Freeman and Latavius Murray while Bell remained relegated to the practice squad.
Head coach John Harbaugh insisted that this was because Bell, who wasn’t on a team this summer, needed some time to get into “football shape.” This did make some sense.
And given recent reports, it seems as though Bell might be close to reaching his goal.
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported on Saturday that “there’s a shot” Bell plays in Week 4 against the Denver Broncos, based on “what [he’s] hearing.”
This would mean the Ravens would have to elevate Bell from the practice squad, at least temporarily, and it could have a direct effect on how the team divides their backfield touches.
Le’Veon Bell might work his way into the Ravens’ backfield plans in Week 4
Ty’Son Williams and Latavius Murray would almost surely maintain their same roles. However, Bell could take the place of Freeman who might just be a health scratch.
None of the three running backs have played special teams at all this year which means that shouldn’t be a deciding factor. Bell could fill in as the third-down/receiving back the Ravens desperately need.
A three-time Pro Bowler, Bell last played for the Kansas City Chiefs last season after he was released by the New York Jets. In nine games with the Chiefs, Bell rushed for 254 yards and two touchdowns on 63 carries for a respectable 4.0 yards per attempt.
Bell clearly isn’t the player he used to be, but he doesn’t have to be to find success in the Ravens offense. Baltimore doesn’t have a running back with a skill set like Bell’s and that should help him carve out a role if he’s promoted.
Le’Veon Bell could be set to make his long-awaited Ravens debut against the Broncos in Week 4. And if he does, expect him to have a sizable role on offense.