Le'Veon Bell carries the ball against the Redskins. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Le'Veon Bell Out for Saturday's Game With Foot Injury, Steelers Will Seek Second Opinion, Diagnosis Soon


 

Remember when the Steelers’ front office and scouts passed on Eddie Lacy in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft because they thought that he was an “injury risk?”

Pepperidge Farm remembers, and so do I.

Although they soured on the former Alabama star, Pittsburgh’s brass still selected a running back with the 48th overall pick in the form of Le’Veon Bell.

While I was not upset that the Steelers passed on Lacy for medical reasons, I still had numerous doubts regarding how well that Bell would transition to the professional level.  In fact, I even mentioned that the running back could also be a potential “injury risk” due to his height (6’1″) and upright running style.

Unfortunately for the Steelers, it has been Bell, not Lacy, who has struggled to stay healthy since the preseason began.

The “injury train” first left the station when Bell was held out of Pittsburgh’s first preseason contest with “knee stiffness.”   Thankfully, all appeared to be well until the running back left practice last Thursday after he aggravated his injured knee.  Despite his knee issues, Bell suited up for his preseason debut on Monday Night against the Redskins.  Sadly for him, he sustained a “mid-foot sprain” during the Steelers’ first series and did not return.

Although the knee issues appeared to be minor, Bell’s injured foot has left many concerned about his status for the 2013 regular season.

Yesterday, Ed Bouchette of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweeted that the foot injury could cause Bell to be “out a while.” Scott Brown of ESPN.com then added to the bad news when he reported that Bell would indeed miss Pittsburgh’s next preseason game this Saturday against Kansas City.  While the franchise will not have a “final diagnosis” on the extent of Bell’s injury for “a couple of days,” the rookie’s absence will be a huge blow to Pittsburgh’s already anemic ground attack.

Although the “final diagnosis” has yet to be determined, it is still never a good sign to see a rookie saddled with  this early in their career injury problems.  For now though, all we can do is wait and see how much time that Bell will inevitably miss this fall.

Most of all though, I just hope that the Steelers did not burn another high draft choice on a fragile “Big 10/12 lemon” at the running back position.

 

 

Players Stats & Info. Provided By: ESPN.comSteelers.com, and Pro Football Reference

 

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  • Coach J

    The Steelers will be in line to draft another Alabama running back TJ Yeldon in the next draft….Lacy was a no brainer pick after his National Championship performance and with the RB by committee style at Alabama, he also had low tread wear. LeVeon was worked like a beast at Michigan State, and now he’s breaking down with pro’s hitting him in practice. Lacy is in Green Bay beasting…Another poor decision.

  • Nine

    Right now, the answer at running back is going to be LaRod Stevens Howling. I think he is a great fit for this new zone blocking scheme and he looked really good in that first game.

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  • Dom DiTolla

    @Coach J: As much as I would like to see the Steelers draft Yeldon, he actually will not be eligible until 2015. Nevertheless, I hope that they can target another running back when next April rolls around because Bell does not seem like a durable answer for them.

    @Nine: Stephens-Howling is probably the best fit for the zone-blocking scheme, but his small frame definitely worries me. If he’s hurt, then the team will have to rely on Dwyer, Redman, and Batch, ugh.