LeVeon Bell takes hit to head, leaves game (GIF)

Le’Veon Bell exited the Pittsburgh Steelers-Baltimore Ravens game on Thanksgiving night after taking a massive hit to the head by the goal line late in the fourth quarter.

Bell scored on a second-and-goal play, but he was drilled in the head by Jimmy Smith and his helmet came off. Then he smacked his head on the ground after landing in the end zone.

After a review, the touchdown call was overturned because it was ruled Bell’s helmet came off before the ball crossed the plane.

LeVeon Bell hit

Bell was totally dazed on the hit but somehow managed to walk off with some assistance.

GIF via @cjzero
Image via @willbrinson

Ben Roethlisberger questions rookie Le’Veon Bell’s work ethic

Le'Veon-Bell-SteelersPittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell could return from a foot injury on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. Early speculation indicated that the rookie would likely be held out at least through the team’s Week 5 bye, so the prospect of Bell playing this weekend makes it seem like he has been working hard and is ahead of schedule. Ben Roethlisberger obviously does not see it that way.

During his weekly appearance on 93.7 The Fan on Tuesday, Roethlisberger seemed to question Bell’s work ethic.

“Honestly, I have no idea with him,” Roethlisberger said when asked when he expects Bell back, via The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “You can’t get a read on him. One day, he’s practicing, one day, he’s not; one day, he’s going hard, the next day, he’s not. I wish I could.

“If he was a guy like Heath Miller that you knew was busting his butt every day to get back there … Le’Veon is a rookie, I don’t know him quite well enough yet. But if he can come back and help us, we’ll take him.”

Miller returned last week after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL during the offseason.

It sounds like Big Ben feels the former Michigan State star could use a little motivation. The Steelers running game has been nonexistent through the first three games of the season. They rank 31st in the league with 51.7 yards per game on the ground. Bell bruised his knee in training camp and was unable to play in Pittsburgh’s first preseason game. He then suffered a minor ligament tear in his foot and has not played since.

Head coach Mike Tomlin expressed more optimism over Bell’s progress than Roethlisberger.

“We are excited about watching him be a full participant this week during the course of practice,” Tomlin said. “We will let that dictate his play, but we are optimistic about his availability.”

The Steelers could certainly use a back who is willing to hit holes and run with a purpose. Frustrations are building and players are barking at their coaches as the team digs itself into a deeper hole. Time will tell if Bell can help them climb out of it.

Le’Veon Bell’s fantasy stock in question because of foot injury

LeVeon Bell SteelersLe’Veon Bell entered training camp looking like he would be one of the top rookie running backs. The Pittsburgh Steelers made Bell the No. 48 overall pick in the draft, and he was the second back taken overall. Even though Pittsburgh has Jonathan Dwyer, Isaac Redman, and LaRod Stephens-Howling, Bell looked like he was going to be the lead back and get a large amount of carries this season. All that is not so certain to start the year.

Bell made his preseason debut on Monday night in the Steelers’ game against the Washington Redskins. He rushed for nine yards on four carries before exiting with a right foot injury. The team said he suffered a mid-foot sprain — the same injury Redskins QB Kirk Cousins sustained in the game — and he went for an MRI on Tuesday.

Steelers beat reporter Ed Bouchette tweeted on Tuesday that Bell’s foot injury is not as bad as teammate Matt Speath’s Lisfranc injury, but it’s enough to keep him out “awhile.

Bell was an absolute workhorse in college at Michigan State, which is part of what made him so appealing to the Steelers and fantasy owners. Everyone knew he could carry a load. He carried the ball 382 times (!!!) in 13 games last season, going over the 100-yard mark eight times, including three 200-yard games.

Previously, Bell would have been toward the top of my running back rankings, but the foot injury slides him down a bit. Who wants to take a guy early when the player already is dealing with a foot injury? Dwyer isn’t a long-term answer, but he’s at least good enough to handle plenty of carries if Bell isn’t ready for Week 1. I’m not confident he will be at this point.

UPDATE: Bell will miss 6-8 weeks with his foot injury. Dwyer is probably the recommended pickup.

Le’Veon Bell, Michigan State player furious over pass interference call

Nebraska beat Michigan State 28-24 on Saturday after getting a break on a pass interference call that had the Spartans players fuming after the game.

Michigan State was up 24-21 in the final minute and had the Cornhuskers in a 3rd-and-10 situation at the 20. That’s when the Spartans were flagged for a b.s. pass interference call that had our buddy World of Isaac (who provided the GIF below) up in arms:

Thanks to the b.s. penalty, Nebraska had a first-and-goal situation from the five. They scored two plays later to win 28-24.

Naturally, Michigan State players were fuming on Twitter over the call. Le’Veon Bell, who had 188 yards and two touchdowns, took the refs to task. He sent the tweets below that have since been deleted.

[Read more...]

Le’Veon Bell gets 50 touches in Michigan State’s win

Le’Veon Bell has joined Johnathan Franklin as an early Heisman Trophy favorite. The junior running back from Reynoldsburg, Ohio, set a career high with an absurd 50 touches during Michigan State’s 17-13 win over Boise State on Friday.

Bell carried the ball 44 times for 210 yards and two touchdowns and caught six passes for 55 yards. The highlight came when Michigan State was at its four-yard line in the third quarter and it looked like Bell was going to be stuffed on a 3rd-and-16 play. Instead, Bell dodged a handful of Broncos on his way to a sick 35-yard run where he crossed the field.

You hardly see players accumulate so many carries these days, and 50 touches is really unheard of at most levels. Bell’s previous career-high for carries was 20, and his high for touches in a game was 22. Feeding Bell the ball seemed like the Spartans’ game plan.

Bell carried the ball 8 times on Michigan State’s 12-play opening drive that produced a touchdown. He carried the ball 13 of their first 20 plays. He also produced this sweet highlight when he hurdled a defender:

It will be tough for Bell to continue with a workload like that, but the numbers put him in the early Heisman conversation. His real test will come in October when the team travels to Michigan and Wisconsin in back-to-back weeks.