Pittsburgh Steelers fans recently received big news on the status of running back Le’Veon Bell’s holdout. As ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler first revealed, Bell expects to be back during the Week 7 bye, setting him up for the homestretch of the 2018 NFL season.
While it’s a positive sign and should go a long way towards helping the Steelers in their push for the playoffs, it seems there’s a bit more to the story. While Bell spoke with Fowler and did so at length, the All-Pro running back still hasn’t made contact with Steelers coaches or teammates, as Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette revealed.
Le’Veon Bell talked to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler at length but he has spoken to no one with the Steelers — no coaches, no teammates, no officials. They have no idea what his plan is except what they read in the media
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) October 3, 2018
It’s not overly surprising, but it’s also not a great sign. With Bell’s holdout going far beyond what most expected, it seems he still hasn’t stated his intentions of a return directly to the team.
Expectations for When Bell Returns
Obviously, fans are still holding out hope to get Bell back during the bye, and after a few in-depth interviews with Fowler, it’s tough to envision him not being back. The running back’s decision to return during the bye week will give him a bit of extra time to prepare for the remainder of the season.
Bell did tell ESPN and Fowler that he’s in “prime physical condition” currently.
Bell, who is still sitting out while refusing to sign his franchise tender, said he’s in prime physical condition and could play football “tomorrow” if he needed. He added he’ll be “fully committed” to playing his best for Pittsburgh upon his return.
Barring something unforeseen, the Steelers will likely give their star running back a big workload right out of the gate. There have been talks of the team being open to trading Bell, but nothing has come of that to this point.