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Steelers don't expect Le'Veon Bell to report this week

If you're breathlessly hoping for Le'Veon Bell to magically appear in a Steelers uniform -- keep waiting.

Per NFL Network's Judy Battista, the team is not expecting the veteran running back to report to the facility this week, according to a source.

Pittsburgh will head into its bye week without Bell, a star player currently not under contract after refusing to sign his $14.54 million franchise tender with the club.

Whispered about as a trade candidate, Bell reportedly planned to rejoin the Steelers this week in order to accrue a season toward free agency while simultaneously reducing the 16-game wear-and-tear on his body.

Still, Bell has engaged in no known contact with the Steelers, meaning he could appear out of nowhere or decide to stay away. How mysterious. In his absence, second-year runner James Conner has morphed into a workhorse as both a runner and pass-catcher.

Even if Bell returns, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has argued for weeks that Conner shouldn't be sent into the shadows. He's been a hot-and-cold performer, but the young back has shown workhorse potential.

Bottom line: Bell is looking out for himself. Whether or not you agree with his argument, the Steelers are in the business of preparing for the next opponent and hanging around in a feisty AFC North.

We'll keep pinging you with updates as to where Mr. Bell sits on the happiness-with-his-job scale, but Pittsburgh has something in Conner -- and will press on if their so-called lead back decides to continue his sojourn away from the field.

We should all be so lucky -- to float around America with nobody tugging on us to be here or there at every second of the day.

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