The Pittsburgh Steelers will not have running back Le’Veon Bell active for Week 1 of the regular season against the Cleveland Browns on the road. Bell did not report to the Pittsburgh Steelers facilities on Wednesday. He is still holding out and this could very well last deep into the season. Le’Veon Bell is a free agent at the end of the season and this could very well be his last season in Pittsburgh.
Because of this, second year running back James Conner will be the starter in the meantime. He rushed for 144 yards on 32 carries last season. A lot of players inside the locker room are excited what he can do. Conner was a third-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and a lot of people felt like he would have been a first-round pick if he didn’t have cancer. James Conner played his college football at the University of Pittsburgh.
Rookie running back Jaylen Samuels and Stevan Ridley are the other running backs on the roster. Samuels was a fifth-round pick from North Carolina State. In the preseason, he rushed for 86 yards on 28 carries and one touchdown. Jaylen Samuels also caught eight passes for 50 yards receiving.
Ridley rushed for 108 yards on 26 carries and a touchdown last season season with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
It would not be surprising if the Pittsburgh Steelers decided to go a running back by committee. This in the end could be a blessing in disguise.
Those running backs won’t be causing attention and that is what the Steelers offensive line wants. The offensive line has already called out Le’Veon Bell. Who can blame them for getting upset?
Bell is a free agent at the end of the season and he is 26 years old. Le’Veon Bell rushed for 1,291 yards on 321 carries and nine touchdowns. He also caught 85 passes for 655 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will miss Bell’s speed and talent, but the Steelers only care about winning football games no matter who is on the field. The backfield will definitely look interesting this weekend and possibly beyond.