Mike Tomlin on if Le'Veon Bell doesn't show: 'So be it'


As the deadline for Le'Veon Bell to report this season approaches, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin isn't spending his time fretting over the running back's decision.

"I have no reaction," Tomlin said Tuesday. "I've told you guys and I've told you guys consistently, a reaction comes from me if and when he walks in the door. Until that happens, I'm business as usual and focused on those that are here and working, and appropriately so. That way I don't waste my time and theirs."

Asked if Bell never shows up, Tomlin responded: "So be it."

If Bell doesn't indicate his intention to sign his $14.45 million franchise tag by 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, he will be ineligible to play the remainder of the season.

Despite optimism from ownership last week that Bell might join the team for the stretch run, the running back has given no indication of his plans. Tomlin told reporters Tuesday the team hasn't heard from Bell throughout his absence.

"I understand that business is an element of the game of football," Tomlin said. "And the elements of the game, relationships within the game, football-related relationships that we all hold near and dear and understand. And then, football at this level, there's also a business element. Even when we don't understand it, we're sensitive to it. So we're not shocked when things happen from a business standpoint."

The assumption at this stage is that Bell will sit out the season before hitting free agency in 2019. Tomlin said Tuesday he hasn't considered whether the running back played his final down in a Steelers uniform.

"Man, I hadn't thought about that one iota," he said. "Again, like I said repeatedly and I mean, I'm focused on the guys that are here, man. We got enough challenges that are significant in terms of meeting the things that we need to meet this week in terms of getting the win."

Check back in a few hours to see whether Bell surprises everyone and shows up to the Steelers' facility.