Gase, during his Tuesday press conference, brushed off the idea of disciplining Bell, who reportedly was bowling until 1 a.m. Sunday morning after being ruled out of the Jets’ Week 14 win over the Dolphins with the flu. Gase was initially asked if Bell had violated any team rules.
“No, because we didn’t want him coming to the locker room or the hotel because he was so contagious,” Gase replied. “I mean, that wasn’t his fault that we said that he so contagious, and that’s what the doctors told him. I’d rather him be at home, just getting better, but that will be a conversation we’ll have. We have a little later start today, so I’ll have a chance to talk with him.”
Gase was then asked if he had any plans to discipline his former Pro Bowl running back.
“What am I gonna discipline him for? I can’t tell him, ‘You have to stay in your house,'” Gase said.
Would Gase agree that Bell bowling hours before a game he was ruled inactive for is a bad look?
“Yeah, I would say so,” said Gase, who also said on Tuesday that he expects Bell to be on the field when the Jets host the Ravens this Thursday night.
Gase was not asked about Bell’s recent comments with regard to his lack of production this season. Bell — who rushed for just 589 yards while averaging 3.2 yards per carry during the Jets’ first 12 games — wants to start having more of an impact on the outcome of his team’s games. Bell said as much during the latest edition of his joint podcast, “17 Weeks”.
“I’ve been playing in this league for a long time. I’ve always been kinda used to like, getting the ball 20, 25, 30 times,” said Bell, who led the NFL with 321 rushing attempts during his final season in Pittsburgh. “Because that’s what my body can handle and that’s the type of player I’ve always been. Even in college, at Michigan State, I was getting the ball that much.
“I go to the NFL, it’s been the same thing. Isn’t it funny this year, because it hasn’t happened. I understand (the) offense is starting got come together, and guys are starting to learn, we got a new system, and new players up front and we got new coaches and things like that. But I think, for me, I would love to put the game on my back and take games over. I haven’t had one of those games this year yet. But a lot of people don’t think I’m the same player or I can’t do that. That’s because I haven’t had the opportunity to really show. As time goes on, we’ll get better, we’ll find a way to make things shake.”
Bell should get a heavier workload on Thursday, with running back Bilal Powell dealing with an ankle injury as well as an illness. Receiver Demaryius Thomas (hamstring/knee) and tight end Ryan Griffin (ankle), DL Quinnen Williams (neck) and safety Jamal Adams (ankle) are also dealing with injuries.