Le’Veon Bell Won’t Play in NFL in 2022 as He Shifts Focus on Boxing

Le'Veon Bell in 2016
Le'Veon Bell in 2016. Photo by Jason Pohuski/CSM/REX/Shutterstock (6118638js)

Le’Veon Bell is definitely hitting pause on his football career. According to the three-time Pro Bowl running back, he doesn’t intend to play in the NFL in 2022 and will instead focus on boxing.

Bell revealed the news on Tuesday during a press conference ahead of his boxing fight against fellow RB Adrian Peterson. The two are set to meet in the ring on July 30 in Los Angeles. The bout will serve as an undercard for the main event of the night, which is the fight between YouTube stars Austin McBroom and AnEsonGib.

“Boxing is something that, you know, they always say it’s something you can’t play boxing,” said Bell. “Last year, I almost sat out the whole year to try to focus on boxing because I kind of knew that was what I wanted to transition to. This year, I know I’m not going to be playing this year because I want to focus on boxing.”

Bell had a rough past couple of years in the NFL. After being released by the New York Jets at the beginning of the 2020 NFL Season, Bell spent time with three organizations but failed to make any significant impact. The 30-year-old player split the last season between the Baltimore Ravens and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but only managed to rush 101 yards in 39 attempts.

Speaking at a press conference via video link, Peterson would also consider making further ventures into boxing but doesn’t intend to forgo football altogether. The 37-year-old player is currently fifth on the NFL’s All-Time Career Rushing Yards list.