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Mike Tomlin: I really have no Le'Veon Bell update

With the Steelers reeling from their second loss in four weeks, Le'Veon Bell's status bubbled up again on Monday.

Coach Mike Tomlin essentially had nothing to say on the matter when speaking to reporters Tuesday.

"I have not talked to Le'Veon and I really have no Le'Veon update," Tomlin said when asked about the star running back. "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Nothing has changed from my perspective in that regard."

Tomlin's comments follow a Monday report from ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, which cited a source saying Bell is planning on returning between weeks 7 and 8.

"It sucks having to sit out football," Bell told ESPN, however, he did not confirm the return date cited in the article. "I want to play. I want to win games and the playoffs.

"But I've gotta take this stand. Knowing my worth and knowing I can tear a ligament or get surgery at any time, I knew I couldn't play 16 games with 400 or more touches."

Pittsburgh didn't miss Bell in Week 1 thanks to the play of understudy James Conner, but it's been an up-and-down road since. Pittsburgh understandably went away from the run when trying to erase a large deficit in Week 2, and found itself trailing 14-0 rather quickly in Week 4. In those two games, Conner rushed just 17 times for 36 yards, a hair over 2 yards per carry, as the Steelers aired it out with varying levels of desperation.

That won't get the job done. But the Steelers are in familiar territory, sans-Bell, getting off to a slow offensive start for the second straight season. They broke 100 yards rushing in just two of the first four weeks of the season in 2017. The difference is: Week 4 of 2017 was Bell's breakout for the season.

Week 4 of 2018 was a clunker, with Bell far from Heinz Field and Ben Roethlisberger admitting he's not on the same page with anyone on Pittsburgh's offense after the unit's worst showing of the season. Teammate Antonio Brown echoed those thoughts, telling NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala "we have to find a way to connect."

As the Steelers look for answers offensively, they aren't searching for Bell -- yet. Perhaps that could change a month from now.

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