Report: Buccaneers sign RB Le'Veon Bell

/ by Jake Levin
Presented By Nissan

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have reportedly bolstered their backfield.

According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Media, the Buccaneers have signed veteran running back Le'Veon Bell as starter Leonard Fournette deals with a series of lower body injuries that are likely to keep him out the remainder of the regular season.

Bell, who turns 30 in February, appeared in five games earlier this season for the running back-needy Baltimore Ravens, rushing for just 83 yards on 31 carries before being released. 

Bell is best known for his days with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he began his career as a second-round draft pick out of Michigan State in 2013. He had three seasons with more than 1,800 yards from scrimmage, including in 2017 when he was First Team All-Pro, but sat out the entire 2018 season amid a contract dispute before signing as a free agent with the New York Jets.

He was a shell of himself for Gang Green, rushing for 863 yards over 17 games before being released midway through the 2020 season and signing with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he totaled 254 yards on the ground over nine games. In all, Bell is averaging 3.34 yards per carry since leaving the Steel City.

There is precedent for prolific former Steelers rejuvenating themselves in Tampa Bay with Tom Brady however, as was the case with Bell's former teammate, Antonio Brown.

The Buccaneers, coming off a 9-0 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday -- the first shutout loss for Brady since 2006 -- are 24th in the NFL in rushing, averaging 97.6 yards per game as a team.