Fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers all thought the same thing when they saw DeAngelo Williams toting the football.
“What is wrong with Le’Veon Bell?”
As we all found out by halftime, Bell injured a groin which eventually kept him out of the game, other than one carry in the second quarter where it was clear he had no explosion due to the injury.
However, Beaver County Times reporter Chris Mueller reported after the game this groin injury was not new to Bell, but had existed for the majority of the season.
Le'Veon Bell said his groin injury happened on second play of the game. #Steelers— Chris Mueller (@ByChrisMueller) January 23, 2017
Le'Veon said this groin injury isn't new. He has been micromanaging it throughout the season.#Steelers— Chris Mueller (@ByChrisMueller) January 23, 2017
"Just (was) kinda keeping it to myself not really trying to scare anybody. Today, it just broke the camel's back."— Chris Mueller (@ByChrisMueller) January 23, 2017
Unless the Steelers were unaware of his injury, you wouldn’t have known there was an issue. Bell ran for 167 yards in the Wild Card round against the Miami Dolphins, and 170 yards against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional round.
Nonetheless, the Steelers were left without the services of Bell at the end of the season for the third straight year. Bell was a large reason, if not the reason, why the Steelers were able to go on a 9-game winning streak which resulted in an AFC Championship berth.
Bell becomes a free agent when the new league year begins this spring, but there is little doubt the Steelers won’t even let him sniff free agency, whether that be with the franchise tag or a long-term contract.