The Buccaneers have waived Bell, Scott Smith of the team's official site reports. The move frees up a roster spot for the activation of fellow running back Leonard Fournette (hamstring) from injured reserve. Per Greg Auman of The Athletic, if Bell clears waivers as expected, the Buccaneers can bring him back to their practice squad, but for now the team will proceed with a backfield comprised of Fournette, Ke'Shawn Vaughn and Giovani Bernard. Ronald Jones is out this week with an ankle injury.
Bell, who was active for Sunday's wild-card win over the Eagles but did not log a snap from scrimmage, finished the regular season with 39 carries for 101 yards and two touchdowns and five receptions for 30 yards and another score over eight games with the Ravens and Buccaneers. He also had a two-point conversion run for Tampa Bay. Bell saw his first regular-season action Week 4 against the Broncos while with the Ravens and ultimately suited up for five games with Baltimore before being jettisoned after Week 10. After five weeks on the open market, the one-time Pro Bowler landed in Tampa Bay and was active for the last three games of the regular season, recording a two-point conversion rush versus his old Jets squad Week 17 and a one-yard receiving touchdown Week 18 versus the Panthers. Even with Leonard Fournette (hamstring) still on IR and Ronald Jones (ankle) inactive for the wild-card matchup Sunday, Bell didn't see the field, so his chances of any action in Sunday's divisional-round matchup against the Rams appear slim.
Bell rushed three times for 14 yards and brought in his only target for a one-yard touchdown in the Buccaneers' 41-17 win over the Panthers on Sunday. The veteran running back served as the No. 2 option behind Ke'Shawn Vaughn with Ronald Jones (ankle) sidelined and was productive with his limited touches. Bell's one-yard scoring grab with 15 seconds remaining in the first half served as his first touchdown since Week 9 against the Vikings, when he was with the Ravens. If either Jones or Leonard Fournette (hamstring) are able to make it back for Sunday's wild-card matchup against the Eagles, Bell could well end up a healthy scratch.
Bell and Ke'Shawn Vaughn will be the Buccaneers' primary running backs Sunday versus the Panthers with Ronald Jones (ankle) sidelined and Leonard Fournette (hamstring) and Giovani Bernard (hip/knee) still on injured reserve, Joey Knight and Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times report. After Fournette was forced to IR due to a hamstring strain following a Week 15 loss to the Saints, Bell was brought in as insurance for the Tampa Bay backfield. Jones stepped in as the No. 1 running back for the ensuing two contests, but he suffered an ankle injury himself this past Sunday at the Jets and will miss the season finale. Vaughn likely will serve as the team's top RB in Week 18, what with averaging 6.7 yards on his 18 carries over the last three games. But Bell should get in the mix, too, after taking five carries for four yards and hauling in all three targets for 30 yards in two outings as a member of the Bucs. Behind Vaughn and Bell, Kenjon Barner also is a candidate to be elevated from the practice squad to provide a bit more depth to the position.
Bell rushed three times for five yards and secured all three targets for 30 yards in the Buccaneers' 28-24 win over the Jets on Sunday. He also had a two-point conversion run. In his second game as a Buccaneer, Bell came through with his trademark receiving skills on an important drive in the game. The veteran recorded two of his three catches on an early fourth-quarter possession that culminated in a Ryan Succop 27-yard field goal to bring Tampa Bay within four points. Bell could see his role expand further in Week 18 against the Panthers with both Ronald Jones (ankle) and Ke'Shawn Vaughn (ribs) dealing with injuries and the offense down another pass catcher with the imminent departure of Antonio Brown.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/18||@New Orleans Saints||2||13.18|
|3||09/25||Green Bay Packers||8||14.78|
|4||10/02||Kansas City Chiefs||10||15.10|
|9||11/06||Los Angeles Rams||9||14.95|
|13||12/05||New Orleans Saints||2||13.18|
|14||12/11||@San Francisco 49ers||7||14.60|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||122||406||2||29||210||1||79|