The Pittsburgh Steelers have exited the playoffs in three straight years with Le’Veon Bell ailing, so it makes sense that the team is looking at how it can preserve the health of its superstar running back.
Asked this week about managing Bell’s workload, Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley said the game will have “all those discussions.”
“He’s a guy, his injuries have been oddball type of things, even the hamstring,” Haley said, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. “He’s a guy who gets stronger every game. He does not want to come out of the game. He’s a year older. We’ve got to make sure we cover all of that, which we will and do as a staff.”
Bell began last season under suspension, then returned to average 28 touches per game. As Fowler notes, over a full 16-game season that pace would have placed Bell at seventh in all-time single-season touches.
Bell isn’t practicing with the Steelers this week because he has yet to sign his franchise tender, and perhaps that’s a silver lining for the Steelers. If every touch counts, it might not be a bad thing that Bell is staying away from the field at this time of year.
Haley, for one, didn’t sound at all concerned about Bell missing practice.
“I know Le’Veon’s ability – he’s missed because of injury, and when he’s come back, he’s come back ready to go,” Haley said. “I assume that’s the way it will be. He’s an astute guy who at least in the past has always come in at a high, high level for us.”
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