Le'Veon Bell has only been a member of the Ravens for one day, but he just might suit up Monday.
Bell joined Baltimore as a practice squad addition this week, a move that became official with Wednesday’s transaction wire. He joined the Ravens with the hopes of providing the Ravens with a fallback option following season-ending injuries to running backs J.K. Dobbins and Justice Hill, but with his arrival coming mere days before Baltimore kicks off the season, a significant role would seem to be out of the question.
A supplementary role isn’t unforeseeable, however.
“Le’Veon’s a guy I think we’re very familiar with obviously,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Thursday. “We’ve played against him so many times in so many highly competitive, emotional games. It was fun to have him in for the workout, he had a good workout. Practiced yesterday, did a good job. So, we’ll have a process with him. He’s excited, he’s learning and we’ll see where it goes.”
Harbaugh added “there’s a chance” Bell will be elevated to the active roster and play Monday against the Raiders.
With just one practice in the books entering Thursday’s session, Bell will have to cram as much as possible to be ready to help the Ravens. Baltimore doesn’t have an extreme need for bodies, as the team lists Gus Edwards as its starter with Ty’Son Williams and Trenton Cannon behind him on the depth chart, but having Bell available wouldn’t hurt, either.
The NFL carried over its COVID-19 roster rules implemented last season, which gives teams more room to promote practice squad players in case of emergency. Under these amended rules, Bell could be elevated to the active roster by 4 p.m. ET Sunday without a need for a corresponding roster move. He could also be elevated within 90 minutes of kickoff if a player tested positive for COVID-19.
Basically, there’s room for Bell on the roster as it stands. His promotion would draw eyes toward the Ravens, thanks to Bell’s name recognition. We don’t know how capable he is of helping Baltimore’s chances, but if Bell is anywhere near the elite back he once was before his career saw a downturn in recent years, he’d be an asset.
Knowing this, Harbaugh isn’t leaving his involvement out of the question. We’ll have to wait until the weekend to learn whether Bell ends up playing a part in Baltimore’s season opener against Las Vegas.
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