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NFL notebook

Running back Le’Veon Bell signs with Kansas City Chiefs

Le'Veon Bell is reportedly set to join the Chiefs.
Le'Veon Bell is reportedly set to join the Chiefs.Brett Carlsen/Associated Press

The Kansas City Chiefs signed running back Le’Veon Bell on Thursday, two days after he was released by the New York Jets.

The Chiefs added another potential dynamic player to an offense that already features Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce.

“Kansas City, #ChiefsKingdom, thank you for the opportunity let’s go!” Bell tweeted.

Bell was cut by the Jets after a disappointing tenure in New York that lasted less than two full seasons. Bell and coach Adam Gase appeared to not mesh since the running back signed a four-year, $52.5 million contract with $35 million guaranteed last year as a free agent.

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Bell spent his first six NFL years in Pittsburgh, and was an All-Pro twice and ranking second in the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 7,996 from 2012-17.

He sat out the 2018 season in a contract dispute with the Steelers. He became a free agent and joined the Jets in March 2019 and was expected to be a dynamic presence in Gase’s offense.

Instead, Bell never consistently flashed the skills that made him one of the NFL’s best dual-threat running backs before sitting out. He rushed for 789 yards and three touchdowns and also wasn’t as prominently featured in the passing game as expected, catching 66 passes for 461 yards and a score.

Bell averaged 3.2 yards per carry in two seasons with the Jets, the second lowest in the league among qualifying backs during that span.

Falcons close facility

The Falcons shut their facility following one new positive test for COVID-19. The team remains scheduled to play at Minnesota on Sunday.

Defensive tackle Marlon Davidson was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list this week, and the addition of a second unidentified person caused the Falcons to act out of caution. All team activity will be done virtually.

“This decision was made in consultation with the NFL and medical officials,” the team said in a statement. “The health and safety of our team is our highest priority.”

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Beckham sent home

Baker Mayfield’s injured ribs aren’t the only concern this week for the Browns. Star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was sent home after feeling ill as coach Kevin Stefanski said the team acted out of caution because of COVID-19 concerns while preparing for this week’s matchup against the unbeaten Steelers. Stefanski said Beckham did not test positive for the coronavirus. He took another test before leaving the team’s facility and the Browns will find out those results Friday. “You have to be careful,” Stefanski said. “I don’t want to assume anything, but with all of our guys we will make sure we just follow the protocols and just be safe. We have been on high alert, that is just 2020.” … Fred Dean, the fearsome pass rusher who was a key part of the launch of the 49ers' dynasty, has died. He was 68. Dean’s death on Wednesday night was confirmed Thursday by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Dean was hospitalized last week with COVID-19 and was on a ventilator and in intensive care, according to former teammate Dwight Hicks.