Le'Veon Bell is not worried about preseason as the New York Jets star eyes week one of the NFL campaign.
Jets head coach Adam Gase announced on Sunday that running back Bell would not make his debut until the team's NFL opener, despite sitting out all of 2018 as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers amid a contract dispute.
Even though Bell has not played in more than a year, the three-time Pro Bowler believes he can return to play at an All-Pro level at the start of the new season.
"I don't think me getting four plays in the preseason is gonna help me in Week 1 for the game," Bell told reporters on Wednesday. "It's gonna be me just getting ready for playing and practice. When the game comes, then I'll be ready."
Bell, 27, signed a four-year, $52.5million deal with New York this offseason.
"Each and every day I've been getting better, so I think the coaches see it," Bell said. "And they've been putting more reps on me, you know, in practice.
"I try to get a little contact in practice. I think the defensive players do a good job of giving me good contact but not really trying to hurt me or take me to the ground too much."
Bell will be second-year quarterback Sam Darnold's go-to guy this season and looks forward to working with the young signal-caller.
"I hate watching Sam play because I want to be in there with him," Bell said. "I just want to be in there because I know how special he is. ... Just watching him each and every week, he will continue to grow. The ball, it just comes out so crazy. I'm ready to play with him and it'll be fun."
Darnold threw for 2,865 yards, 17 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in his first year as a starter and led the Jets to a 4-12 record.
Meanwhile, Bell has totalled 5,336 yards on the ground and accounted for 42 total touchdowns in five seasons.
|Minshew leads Jaguars past Titans|
|Brady sounds off on refs: I can´t watch these ridiculous penalties anymore|
|Broncos´ Miller on players asking for trades: I think it´s good|
|Wantaway Jaguars star Ramsey active against Titans|
|NFL news and notes: Dolphins bench Fitzpatrick, Ramsey expects to be traded soon|
|This Week in US Sports: Wildcard teams neck and neck, NFL QBs dropping like flies|
|Brown says his focus is on football as he addresses media for first time as a Patriot|
|Giants´ Jones on taking over for Manning: I understand the responsibility|
|Jets QB Darnold has ´full confidence´ he´ll return in Week 5|
|How Drew Brees´ absence could shape the NFC playoff picture|
|NFL news and notes: Brown won´t face prosecution, Eagles´ injuries force cancelled practice|
|Manning on being benched by Giants: I´m not dying and the season is not over|
|Antonio Brown will not face prosecution for alleged sexual assault incident in Pennsylvania|
|Drew Brees won´t go on injured reserve after thumb surgery|
|Smith-Schuster on Rudolph: He´s going to help us win a lot of games|
|Jets´ Le´Veon Bell ´frustrated´ by start to NFL season|
|That´s what he said: 10 best NFL quotes from Week 2|
|NFL news and notes: Giants bench Manning, Fitzpatrick traded to Steelers|
|Minkah Fitzpatrick trade: What exactly are Dolphins, Steelers doing?|
|Quarterback carousel: Four of NFL´s most durable QBs gone in one week|
|Daniel Jones named Giants starter: Three stats that define Eli Manning´s legacy|
|Panthers QB Newton a doubt for Week 3 after missing practice|
|Giants bench Eli Manning, name Daniel Jones starting QB|
|Dolphins trade Minkah Fitzpatrick to Steelers in exchange for first-round pick|
|Beckham stars in Browns´ easy win over Jets|
|Jets QB Siemian exits game against Browns with ankle injury|
|NFL news and notes: Brees out for six weeks, Roethlisberger done for season|
|Roethlisberger reiterates commitment to Steelers despite season-ending injury|
|Snoop Dogg tells Steelers to sign Kaepernick after Roethlisberger injury|
|Antonio Brown denies claims of sexual misconduct from second woman|
|Browns´ Chris Smith to play against Jets after death of girlfriend|
|Steelers quarterback Roethlisberger out for season with elbow injury|
|Drew Brees reportedly set for surgery on thumb injury|
|Kansas City Chiefs not taking ´unique´ Mahomes for granted|
|Matt Ryan proud of record-breaker Julio Jones as Falcons soar late|
|Clowney: Wilson the reason I joined Seahawks|
|Falcons edge Eagles in thriller|
|Packers´ LaFleur plays down animated exchange with Rodgers|
|Saints´ Brees to see specialist about thumb injury|
|Mahomes erupts for Chiefs, Patriots and 49ers win big|
|Giants replacing Manning with Jones not ´a conversation for right now´ – Shurmur|
|Mahomes puts up huge numbers in first half against Raiders|
|Steelers´ Tomlin on 0-2 start to NFL season: ´We understand the position we´re in´|
|49ers offensive tackle Staley suffers broken fibula in win over Bengals|
|Brees and Donald sidelined with injuries in Rams v Saints|
|Ben Roethlisberger leaves Steelers-Seahawks game with elbow injury|
|Antonio Brown scores first touchdown with Patriots off Tom Brady pass|
|Adrian Peterson passes Jim Brown to go fifth on all-time rushing TD list|
|Antonio Brown to make Patriots debut against Dolphins|
|NFL news and notes: Belichick mum on Brown´s Week 2 status, Newton shoulders blame|
|The Sunday Seven - 7 Key Opta facts for NFL Week 2|
|Cam Newton after Panthers loss: All fingers are pointing at me specifically|
|Newton struggles as Panthers fall to Winston´s Buccaneers|
|NFL Week 2: Games, players & teams to watch|
|NFL news and notes: Darnold out ´weeks´ with mono, Foles targeting Week 11 return|
|This Week in US Sports: Brown drama continues, MLB sets home run record|
|Darnold could miss ´multiple weeks´ with glandular fever|
|Rodgers to Packers fans: Don´t do the wave when we´re on offense|
|Cowboys´ Elliott ´ready for a normal workload´ in Week 2|
|NFL news and notes: Brown practises after rape accusation, Hill out for 4-6 weeks|
|Chargers´ Hunter Henry suffers fracture in knee|
|Patriots taking Brown rape allegation ´very seriously´ as NFL investigates|
|Antonio Brown denies rape, sexual assault allegations made by former trainer|
|That´s what he said: 10 best NFL quotes from Week 1|
|Raiders´ Carr on Brown: ´I hope he gets everything he wants´|
|NFL news and notes: Brown prompts Thomas trade, Conley could play Week 2|
|Odell Beckham Jr feels singled out over watch criticism|
|Jerry Jones clarifies Dak Prescott contract situation|
|New England Patriots taking things ´day by day´ with Brown – Belichick|
|Jon Gruden gives positive Gareon Conley injury update after ´scary hit´|