Sidelined with a mid-foot sprain since mid-August, rookie running back Le’Veon Bell is finally ready to make his regular season debut with the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday.
While Ben Roethlisberger might have reservations regarding how much Bell can contribute early on, Marcus Gilbert has high hopes for the former Michigan State Spartan according to Alan Robinson of The Pittsburgh Tribune Review:
He’s a three-dimensional running back, … He can catch the ball out of the backfield, he can run downhill, can run power plays, he can run outside zone, the guy can block, he’s a tough competitor. … Hopefully, we get out of him what everyone is anticipating and what we know he can do.
As Gilbert mentioned above, there are plenty of reasons to believe that Bell can add different dimensions to Pittsburgh’s offense. The rookie excelled as a runner (1,793 rushing yards), pass-catcher (32 catches), and touchdown-maker (13 total touchdowns) last fall at Michigan State, and he was far and away the team’s best offensive weapon.
Inserting a player of Bell’s caliber into the lineup can only help the Steelers’ running game which is currently led by Felix Jones and Jonathan Dwyer. Overall, Pittsburgh ranks 31st in the league in total rushing yards, 28th in yards per carry, and nobody on the roster has rushed for a touchdown during regular season play!
Of course, Bell has yet to take a regular season snap at the professional level because of the knee and foot injuries he sustained during the preseason. So the questions which still surround how long it will actually take the former Spartan to realize his tremendous potential in the N.F.L. are definitely valid.
Doubts aside, it is at least promising to know that Bell is ready to contribute and possesses the talent to help the Steelers’ anemic offense in a multitude of different ways.
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