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Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell tweets he'll return Sept. 1

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell would likely return to the Steelers' backfield sometime next week.

On Tuesday evening, Bell essentially confirmed Rapoport's report, and even provided a specific date for his comeback, too.

Asked on Twitter about when he'd return from his absence, Bell tweeted Sept. 1 with a winking emoji.

Bell has sat out the entirety of Steelers camp and preseason so far, unhappy he didn't get a long-term deal that would have provided more security, and more money, than the one-year, $12.1 million franchise tag Pittsburgh placed on him this offseason.

Bell, though, tweeted his absence will end the day after the Steelers play their final preseason game against the Carolina Panthers.

Rapoport reported Monday this return was the plan all along.

"This has always been Le'Veon Bell's plan," Rapoport said on Total Access. "Stay home, train in Florida. ... Let the Steelers get through the preseason, get through training camp in Latrobe, get back to Pittsburgh, play the three preseason games.

"Then he is set to show up, sign his $12.1 million franchise tender and play for his team. If this all sounds familiar, it's almost exactly what Eric Berry did with the Kansas City Chiefs last year."

When Berry returned from his absence and played out the 2016 season, he got paid in the offseason, inking a huge six-year, $78 million deal.

Bell can only hope his training camp absence produces similar results.

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