As the New York Jets visit the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night for their matchup, the Jets are dealing with some controversy surrounding running back Le'Veon Bell.
Bell, who missed New York's game against Miami on Sunday with the flu, was seen bowling the night before and has since found himself in the middle of discussions about "distractions" and bad public "optics".
Before Sunday's game, Bell's flu forced him to miss two practices and Saturday's walk-through. He was ruled as too sick to play Saturday at 5 p.m., only hours before he was spotted bowling in New Jersey. The next day Bell watched the Jets-Dolphins game from a private box in MetLife Stadium.
The team was unaware of the controversy until late Monday when head coach Adam Gase heard about the running back's outing.
On Tuesday, Gase said Bell's late-night bowling excursion was a bad look for the team since he was too sick to play. But Bell spoke out later Tuesday, explaining he has no regret for going bowling, only for being spotted in public.
"I didn't break any rules," Bell said, "and I wasn't a distraction until now that you all see me bowling, so that's it."
Bell explained that he understands how, from a certain perspective, bowling while he is too sick to play can look bad, but that he does not see anything wrong with it.
"I could see, from the outside of it, if I was playing Sunday and they see me bowling [it would look bad]," Bell said.
While Bell is surprised his bowling turned into a "big thing," he's more surprised that he bowled a career-high 251 while recovering from the flu.
Whether Bell's controversy impacts the team or not, the Jets will have a tough opponent to face with, or without, their running back as they face the Ravens on Thursday. The Ravens are seeking their 10th consecutive win and the AFC North title.
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