After missing last Sunday's game against the Dolphins because of the flu, Jets RB Le'Veon Bell will play Thursday night against the Ravens.
"I think if I get the opportunity, I'll make some plays," Bell said. "I'm ready. I told everyone else in the locker room and the coaching staff that I'm ready. They're all aware, so we'll see how it goes."
Bell started to feel ill last Tuesday but practiced Wednesday, which he said set him back. Doctors then told him to stay away from his teammates on Thursday and Friday because the flu could be passed along. He went for a checkup on Saturday and pronounced himself fully fit. The doctors disagreed.
"I was at the game," he said. "I sat in my mom's box. It sucked, obviously, but it kind of gave me different perspective from being in the game or on the sideline. You watch the film, there were a lot of mistakes that we made, but the good thing about it is that we made enough plays for us to win the game. That's the biggest part. I'm glad they were able to go out there and get the job done and get ready for this Thursday game."
Bell returned to the Jets' training facility on Monday, nearly nine pounds lighter, and started running Monday to prepare for Thursday night's game at Baltimore.
"The weight loss and things like that, that'll affect me in different ways that I might not be aware of, but right now I feel good," he said. "I want to go out there and make sure I make enough plays for my team. I'm going to try and gain as much weight as I can back and make sure I'm hydrated. That's the biggest part, being hydrated and find some energy somewhere. When I was sick, I felt good, but you never know until you're really out there. We'll see how I feel."
Bell, who played with the Steelers for five seasons, is familiar with the Ravens and vice versa.
"We understand how he runs, what his strengths are and how good he is in the passing game," Ravens Coach John Harbaugh said. "They line him up run almost every receiver route with him. They'll run go routes with him in the slot and outside. He's just a great football player. He's someone that you have to keep an eye on and have someone attached to him at all times. He can make guys miss and make plays on his own. He's an edge-to-edge runner and he can north and south. I think he's a complete back, a complete football player. He's going to be a very important guy that we need to stop."
Bell believes he hasn't tapped his potential in Coach Adam Gase's offense. Bell has 589 rushing yards and 3 TDs on 183 carries (3.2 average). He also has 403 receiving yards and 1 TD on 55 receptions, which is the second on the Jets.
"I think that's just being in a new system, new guys up front, a new coaching staff," he said. "I'm with a new organization, so everything kind of takes time and I understand that. That's why I've always been patient, but honestly, no. When I do, I'll be back to what people are used to seeing."