As Le'Veon Bell lay on the turf in agony holding his injured knee, a stunned Pittsburgh audience watched in silence as their All-Pro running back hobbled off the field. Clearly, the worst was feared; an ACL tear, dislocation of the knee, other ligament damage, but days later Bell was diagnosed with a hyperextended knee, an injury that ended up costing his first career playoff game.
It didn't take Bell long to establish himself as one of the league's most dangerous running backs, going from a second round pick in 2013 to an all-purpose, bonafide weapon and potentially the league's best running back in 2014.
Bell's injury cost him a playoff game, and might have even caused the Steelers' early exit. Either way, Bell is rehabbing his injured knee and looking forward to the 2015 season.
"The knee is close to 100 percent," Bell said on NFL's Network's Super Bowl Live show. "I'm probably about 85-90 percent, been able to run on it a little bit. So I'm getting back to work out a little."
Bell's offseason last year was part of the reason for his transformation into one of the league's most feared players, as the 22-year old dropped nearly 20 pounds from his frame, allowing him to become quicker and lighter. Bell's 81-yard run earlier this season against the Panthers, he says, is a result of the weight he lost. With Bell's knee closing in on being totally healthy, the talented running back will enter his third season as a frontrunner for back-to-back All-Pro selections, and will again look to serve as the catalyst for the Steelers' explosive offense.