Let’s get something straight right off the bat. Le’Veon Bell does not have to report to the Pittsburgh Steelers anytime soon. He can sit back and watch his teammates play and pick when he returns.
Despite him returning to the team prior to Week 1 in 2017, Bell is a no-show at the team’s first practice session preparing for their Week 1 game in Cleveland vs. the Browns.
There was a chance Bell didn’t report, but most expected Bell to follow the same protocol he set forth a year ago.
While he can still report this week, the Steelers organization is clearly disappointed in his decision to stay away.
This statement is from Kevin Colbert on Bell’s absence:
Colbert: "We are disappointed Le’Veon Bell has not signed his franchise tender and rejoined his teammates. Coach Tomlin and the coaching staff will continue to focus on preparing the players on our roster for our regular season opener on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) September 3, 2018
At this point, the Steelers, and their fans, await Bell’s return — whenever that may be.
While fans become frustrated, the team prepares for life without Bell in the short-term with James Conner, Stevan Ridley, Jaylen Samuels and Roosevelt Nix. The team doesn’t have many options considering their only move now is to rescind the franchise tag which would make Bell a free agent.
Stay tuned to the latest news on the Bell situation right here at BTSC.