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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Report: Steelers expect Le’Veon Bell to skip several games

Le’Veon Bell will not play on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns as he continues his lengthy holdout, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are expecting to be without him for more than just the season opener.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that Steelers are planning to be without Bell for at least the first month of the season. The team is operating as if he will not report for as many as six games, and the star running back has given no indication of when he plans to return. La Canfora goes on to say that it would “not be a total shock” if Bell waited until Week 10 to sign his franchise tender, which would be the latest possible time to prevent his contract from tolling.

Bell is unhappy that he could not agree to a long-term extension with the Steelers, but it’s unclear why he has had such a change of heart from when he promised 2018 would be his best season as a pro. He is obviously committed to limiting his injury exposure as much as possible heading into free agency, though he could hurt his stock by missing more than half of the season.

Judging by the candid reactions we have seen from some of Bell’s teammates, there’s a good chance some tension will exist in the locker room when he does eventually show up.

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