A source told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler on Tuesday that Coates also underwent sports hernia surgery, a setback that never made it onto Pittsburgh's injury report in 2016.
Per Fowler, the injury never kept Coates out of practice and served as more of a "nuisance." The receiver himself confirmed Tuesday that he went under the knife to address a groin injury -- and made it clear the operation was no joyride.
Adding to the intrigue, ESPN reported last month that Coates underwent a procedure to repair his broken fingers, but Fowler on Tuesday confirmed the surgery was for the groin alone.
Bell missed practice time before the New England tilt because of a personal matter, and he told reporters after the season-ending loss that the issue had been bothering him for a couple of weeks.
We'll find out soon enough what the league thinks. As for Coates, he's finally on the mend.