Bell said recently he plans to play in the Pro Bowl at the end of the month, a designation he earned after finishing second in rushing and yards from scrimmage in just his second year in the league.
He was unable to play against Baltimore in the Steelers' 30-17 loss to the Ravens in the Wild Card round of the AFC Playoffs. Bell also said he could have played against Denver, had the Steelers defeated Baltimore.
While the veteran players tend to take the Pro Bowl off with medical exceptions, Bell's intention seems to be to get back on the field. It would fit with his suggestion he may have to take an even larger share of the Steelers' offense next season. The team will still need to find a complimentary back to bolster depth at the position because we saw what happened to the general flow of the Steelers' offense without Bell, and a suspension has not yet been ruled out for his DUI and marijuana possession arrest back in August.
Judging by previous rulings, a one game suspension is not out of the question for Bell. The Steelers made it a point to bring in a veteran running back LeGarrette Blount this past offseason, but he was released after walking off the field in the team's 27-24 win over Tennessee in Week 11.
It's highly likely the team will bring in another running back to be prepared for Bell's absence and to provide a better alternative in case of injury. The cadre of Josh Harris, Ben Tate and Dri Archer combined for 53 yards on 15 carries in the loss to the Ravens.