PITTSBURGH -- While NFL officials were ruling whether he scored a touchdown or fell victim to a new rule to protect against head injuries, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell was just trying to clear his head.
Bell was knocked unconscious and then had to be helped from the field after a vicious helmet-to-helmet, goal-line collision with Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith Thursday night at Baltimore. Bell actually scored a touchdown on the play, but because the impact of the hit dislodged his helmet the play was ruled dead before he officially reached the end zone.
The Steelers eventually scored the touchdown, but wideout Emmanuel Sanders dropped the would-be two-point conversion, and the Steelers lost 22-20. Bell doesn't remember any of it.
"I really started feeling better the next day,'' Bell said Monday after a light practice with his teammates. "After the hit, obviously, I was out of it a little bit. But I started feeling better the next day, and I progressively kept feeling better each and every day.
"When I first came off the field, I really didn't know that I didn't score. I couldn't remember that. They told me that I scored, but I didn't get the touchdown because of the rule. I really wasn't aware at the time, because of the hit. And I really can't remember what happened.''
Bell took an IMPACT concussion test Sunday and likely will face more tests throughout the week, but he had a helmet on and was at least running around a little bit Monday while the Steelers got in an additional practice for their game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday at 1 p.m. at Heinz Field.
"Things are good right now,'' Bell said. "But I don't know about my situation for Sunday. I'm just going to take it day-by-day, and we'll see where we're at. They told me to just do what I could do, as long as I'm comfortable, so that's what I did. I want to play, obviously, but if I'm not able to we'll take it from there.''
After watching that hit several times, it's difficult to believe that Bell was even dressed for practice, let alone running around out there. Apparently, he's fortunate that there wasn't further damage. The player felt the same way after viewing the tape of the play for the first time.
"I'm just happy I survived it,'' Bell said. "It was a bad hit. I guess I got lucky, and I'm glad nothing more serious happened. But it definitely was an ugly hit, and I'm just glad to be OK. I don't remember the exact play, but once I saw the film. I know what it looked like now, but I didn't remember it when it first happened.
"(And) I wasn't aware of the rule. It's the rule, but if I would have known it I probably wouldn't have gone out for it like that. ... No, I'm just playing. The rule is the rule, and it is what it is. I wanted to do whatever it took to get in the end zone. It was unfortunate that I didn't get the touchdown, but it is what it is.''
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