Pittsburgh Steelers fans were mad enough when their favorite team lost 45-42 to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Divisional Round of the AFC Playoffs. If the one-and-done appearance wasn’t enough, in the days following the loss reports swirled about Le’Veon Bell missing almost all of the team’s final walk through before the playoff game.
Steelers Twitter and sports talk radio absolutely exploded.
Fans wanted heads to roll for this lack of discipline, and were ready to say goodbye to Bell for being a “cancer” in the team’s locker room.
When the players were cleaning out their lockers following the playoff loss, Bell was nowhere to be found, and didn’t have the opportunity to explain his absence. However, while at the NFL Pro Bowl, Bell was asked about the report, and his response was pretty simple.
Le'Veon Bell says he had personal reasons for being late to walk through and coaching staff was aware.— Kevin Patra (@kpatra) January 24, 2018
According to Bell, he had a personal reason for being late to the final practice before the Jaguars game, and Mike Tomlin and the coaching staff were all aware of him being late.
This won’t do much to calm the masses who are still reeling from the team’s loss just a few weeks ago, but if Bell has anything to hang onto, it would be his performance against the Jaguars at Heinz Field in the postseason.
In the game, Bell rushed for 67-yards, had 88-yards receiving and tallied two touchdowns in the process. While missing practice is never a good thing, Bell’s performance proved he performed just fine, and, if the coaches new he was going to miss practice, this should become a moot point.