The Pittsburgh Steelers are concerned they might have to play their playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens without Le’Veon Bell, who has no ligament damage but is still feeling a lot of pain in his knee.
Bell took a big hit in the knee from Reggie Nelson which probably was the reason the Bengals player and Mike Tomlin exchanged words at the end of the game which the Steelers won to claim the division title. Bell caught six passes for 80 yards and ran eight more times for 20 yards in the game before leaving with a hyperextended knee that has the organization very worried.
Bell simply isn’t easily replaced. He is second in 2014 behind DeMarco Murray in yards from scrimmage with 2215, a new franchise record coming in his second season in the league. He ran for 1361 yards in his second NFL season, helping the Steelers put on display one of the best offenses in the NFL, combining very well with Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger to create maybe the best quarterback-wide receiver-running back trio in the league.
The good signs after the game was Bell not putting any ice on his knee or using crutches. However, he needed a long time coming out of the locker room, and it’s going to be a while before he and the team known whether he’s pain-free enough to play. While some called Nelson’s tackle a dirty hit and illegal one, Tomlin said it was a football play and has no problem with the contact.
What he does have a problem with is Bell actually not playing. The other Steelers running backs, rookies Dri Archer and Josh Harris, have a combined 19 carries and 56 yards this season. Bell hasn’t seen a lot of success against the Ravens this season, rushing for 79 yards in both games combined, catching one pass for a touchdown.