From cryptic tweets to teammates bashing him, it’s been a long season for Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell. And as we approach the weekend of Week 10, he is still holding out from the Pittsburgh Steelers. But if you talk to owner Art Rooney II, Bell is going to report next week.
“I don’t know what his plans are, but I would say at this point we expect him to come back next week” Rooney II said on a SiriusXM NFL Radio appearance Thursday via NFL.com’s Austin Knoblauch. “We know he’s back in Pittsburgh and so we’re hoping to have some communications with him over the weekend and we’re kind of expecting he will be back next week.”
As of this writing, the Steelers are riding a four-game winning streaking while topping the AFC North (5-2-1). They’re losing to the Panthers on Thursday Night Football at the moment, but it’s early. The game is only just getting underway. That said, how will Bell be welcomed back in Pittsburgh? I don’t mean by the fans — by now, I’m sure many are just ready to move on. But I’m talking about what they’re going to do with him in the offense.
Look, Bell is only 26 years old and he’s a two-time All-Pro. You don’t just ignore a playmaker of his talent. Yet in his absence, James Conner is having a tremendous season — his second in the NFL. He’s averaging 4.7 yards per carry and has nine touchdowns on the ground. He’s also averaging 10 yards per reception while hauling in 38 passes from Ben Roethlisberger — with a touchdown as well.
To compare, Bell averaged just 4.0 yards per carry last season. He 85 passes — a career-high — though only averaged 7.7 yards per reception. He would finish with 11 touchdowns over 15 games. Conner, as we mention above, has 10 touchdowns in nine games.
So are you ready to move on, Steelers fans?