The majority of the Pittsburgh Steelers fan base is sick and tired of Le’Veon Bell news. I get it, but at the same time the All-Pro running back remains news because of his holdout, and potential return to the team.
It seems almost daily there is a report, news or rumors circulating of the whereabouts of Bell. His intentions no one truly knows, but the rumors can certainly connect some dots for fans who are wondering what his plans are.
The staff here at BTSC agreed the best way to handle all of these rumors is to have one place where we can easily update any rumors or reports surrounding Bell. We will start the timeline from his departing Florida tweet, and then begin the game of ‘Where in the world is Le’Veon Bell’?
With Bell needing to show up soon to be able to play at all in 2019, news and rumors should be circulating this weekend and into next week as the Steelers enjoy a mini bye week after playing on Thursday night.
Stay tuned to see just what is going on with No. 26, and whether he plans on showing up, or if he is going to just plan on playing in 2019-2020.
On November 5th, Bell bid farewell to Miami, FL.
Fairwell Miami— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) November 5, 2018
On November 6th, Bell is spotted at an LA Fitness near Pittsburgh playing some 5 v. 5 pickup basketball with the locals.
Today @ 6 haha, just had zoomed in to be more clear pic.twitter.com/TYsJ3IhzKZ— Jamie (@Two_Jamezz) November 7, 2018
On November 7th, Bell’s participation is said pickup basketball game was confirmed by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell was indeed playing basketball at the LA Fitness in Pittsburgh, an LA Fitness manager confirmed. He's back in town. Six days until the deadline to report and play this season.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) November 7, 2018
As of November 7th, Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network is reporting Bell has NOT contacted the Steelers regarding his physical, and starting the process for his two week roster exemption.
That is, if he intends to actually play football this season.
#Steelers brass knows Le’Veon Bell is in town and fully expected him to call in today about his physical. A member of the organization tells me that as of this afternoon’s walkthrough, he still hadn’t.— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) November 7, 2018
Seems to make sense he’d start the clock on that two-week exemption now.
Ordinarily, a player has to be on a team’s roster (or getting “credit,” on the Commissioner’s Exempt List) by the day before a game. When a team has a Thursday game, as the #Steelers do, there’s an exception. So Le’Veon Bell could take his physical tomorrow and start the clock.— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) November 7, 2018
With the rumors circulating about him in the press, Bell was back on social media by Wednesday evening in an attempt to turn the narrative on its head.
˙˙˙ɯǝɥʇ uo ʎןɹɐǝןɔ s’ʇɐɥʇ &˙˙˙sǝuıן ǝɥʇ uǝǝʍʇǝq pɐǝɹ ʎןdɯıs ʇsnظ oʇ ǝɯıʇ ǝɥʇ ǝʞɐʇ ʇ’uop ǝןdoǝd ʇsoɯ ʇnq˙˙˙op p’noʎ ʇɐɥʍ ʇ’usı sıɥʇ ǝqʎɐɯ ǝsnɐɔǝq suoısıɔǝp ʎɯ ɟɟo ǝɯ ǝbpnظ ʇ’uop˙˙˙buıop ɯ’ı ʇɐɥʍ ʇnoqɐ pǝıɹɹoʍ & ǝɟıן ʎɯ uo uoıuıdo uɐ sɐɥ ʎpoqʎɹǝʌǝ ʇnoqɐ ʇsnظ— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) November 7, 2018
ʇuıod ʎɯ pǝʌoɹd ǝʌ’noʎ 'buıʎɐs ɯ’ı ʇɐɥʍ ʇno ǝɹnbıɟ oʇ ǝɯıʇ ǝɥʇ buıpuıɟ ʎןןɐǝɹ ǝɹ’noʎ ɟı osןɐ˙˙˙poıɹǝd 'sɹǝǝd ʎɯ ɟo ʇsǝɹ ǝɥʇ puɐ 'ʎןıɯɐɟ 'ɟןǝsʎɯ ɹoɟ ʇɥbıɹ sı ǝʌǝıןǝq ı ʇɐɥʍ ɹoɟ buızıboןodɐ ʇou ɯ’ı— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) November 7, 2018
To save you from turning your screen around to read Bell’s “amusingly” inverted tweets, these were his latest words of wisdom.
“Just about everybody has an opinion on my life & worried about what I’m doing ... Don’t judge me off my decisions because maybe this isn't what you’d do ... But most people don’t take the time to just simply read between the lines ... & that’s clearly on them.”
“I’m not apologizing for what I believe is right for myself, family and the rest of my peers, period ... Also if you’re really finding the time to figure out what I’m saying, you’ve proved my point.”
What that really means, probably only Bell or a licensed therapist can tell you, but if I’m reading between the lines correctly, it sounds like a certain someone may not be playing football at all this year after all. That being said, it could equally mean he will be arriving at team facilities on Thursday.
Come November 9, Bell felt the need to change up his Twitter profile, striking all mention of Pittsburgh from his page. Perhaps not the most encouraging sign of a man ready to return to the team.
I just noticed that @LeVeonBell changed his twitter info to " All Pro NFL Running Back". It had previously been "Running Back, Pittsburgh Steelers" until yesterday...@MatthewBerryTMR @AdamSchefter @RapSheet @espn pic.twitter.com/awTwwTQoDU— Michael (@Poma_00) November 8, 2018
As of Thursday, the Steelers acknowledged that they still had not heard from their All-Pro running back, despite confirming that they knew he was back in the city. However, Art Rooney seemed optimistic they would hear from Bell over the weekend and he would be at team facilities come Tuesday.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes not just from this story, but others surrounding the Steelers heading into their Week 10 game vs. the Carolina Panthers on Thursday Night Football.