Things just keep getting worse for the Jets. Days after getting drubbed by division-rival Buffalo, the team placed star running back Le'Veon Bell on injured reserve with a hamstring injury Tuesday. They're down to Frank Gore, a future Hall of Famer at the end of his career, and Josh Adams, who had eight carries last season. And if rookie La'Mical Perine can get healthy, he'll get in the mix, too.
Adam Gase might be willing to be seen in public without a hat if it meant having one of these three rushers break out in that time, but odds are he will rotate Gore, Adams and (if healthy) Perine. In such a situation, Gore and Adams are best suited for running downs and Perine could play some passing down snaps.
Starting Gore, Adams or Perine will be a bad idea. Rostering Gore, Adams or Perine isn't a great idea, either, though it depends on just how desperate you are for a running back, or if a young pass-catcher like Perine carries any long-term relevance.
Here's another bad idea: Cutting Bell from your roster. There isn't a timetable for his return yet — NFL rules were altered to make injured reserve a short-term option in 2020, so it's not definite he's done for any period of time longer than three weeks. But his recent history with the Jets and the subject of his hamstrings has proven to be prickly. If the Jets are smart, they'll let him heal up as much as possible before bringing him back. A healthy Bell gives Fantasy managers a decent shot at No. 2 running back production.
What about trading for Bell? Desperate Fantasy managers may mortgage Bell for next to nothing. Acquiring him for peanuts would normally be a sharp move, but we can't say for sure when he will be back. All kinds of variables are in play — if the Jets end up falling out of the playoff race quickly, would they want to bring him back? Would he want to be brought back? Could they trade him? Sure, but he'd probably have to get healthy first. For now, you might be better off letting him languish on someone else's bench rather than purposely putting him on your own.
The real winners of this news? You mean besides the headline writers in New York City? Probably Jamison Crowder and Chris Herndon. Those were the Jets' top-two target-getters in Week 1 and are the middle-field short-area guys for Sam Darnold to bump throws to. If the run game can't get going — look at me using the word if, like there's a chance it will get going — let me start over. Because the run game won't get going, the Jets can scheme up Crowder and Herndon to manufacture chain-moving plays. It wouldn't be surprising in the least to see both hit north of eight targets on a weekly basis. Crowder could be stable as a volume-driven low-end No. 2 receiver while Herndon could emerge as more than just a streaming tight end.
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