Around the NFL  

 

Tomlin: Expect 'a lot' of Le'Veon Bell Sunday vs. Chiefs

Print

Le'Veon Bell won't be eased into the rotation after returning from suspension.

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said the running back would return to his workhorse role after missing the first three games of the 2016 season.

"His level of conditioning is not a concern to us," Tomlin said Tuesday. "He's a guy that's highly conditioned over a 12-month calendar. We've seen him every day, he's been a part of this, he's been in the building, he's up to speed on what we're doing from a schematic standpoint, really in tune here. We'll see how sharp he is physically once we get him out on the practice field and kind of go from there but rest assured, you're going to see Le'Veon Bell and probably a lot of him on Sunday."

There was some thought that the Steelers would employ a shared backfield after DeAngelo Williams led the NFL in rushing through the first two games of the season. Despite Williams looking spry, Bell will return to his normal workload.

Williams insisted last week he was just an insurance policy until Bell returned.

Pittsburgh is coming off a 34-3 blowout loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 3. Ben Roethlisberger couldn't get on track and Williams was stymied early. Once the Steelers were down big, they abandoned the running game. Williams earned just 21 yards on eight carries after gobbling up 237 yards in two games.

"We took a significant step backwards with how we performed in that football game," Tomlin said, via NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala.

The Steelers needed Bell's dynamic ability in both the run and pass game. Sunday, the absences of Bell and receiver Martavis Bryant (yearlong suspension) finally showed on the field as Big Ben couldn't move the ball without his playmakers. Slot receiver Eli Rogers (turf toe) also went down with injury, escalating the offensive problems.

Bell's return against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday is a much-needed boost for an offense that missed its motor.

Print