Steelers to use RB Le'Veon Bell more as a receiver

Le'Veon Bell's return from a three-game suspension provides a playmaking boost to a Pittsburgh Steelers offense that has seen a talent drain due to suspensions, injury and ineffectiveness.

Martavis Bryant's yearlong suspension sapped playmaking opposite Antonio Brown. Markus Wheaton struggles with consistency (three drops in Week 3). Sammie Coates has proven to be a one-trick pony. Tight end Ladarius Green, Heath Miller's replacement, hasn't played a snap. Now ascending slot receiver Eli Rogers is "very questionable" to play this weekend because of a turf toe injury.

Of the Steelers' current offensive weapons, two of the top three are running backs: Bell and DeAngelo Williams.

Pittsburgh will try to get the duo on the field together more versus the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 4. Bell, one of the premier pass-catchers out of the backfield, could be used as a receiver in certain formations.

"In a way, yes," Roethlisberger said when asked if Bell could play in the slot, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Listen, we're not going to put him at wide receiver and use DeAngelo at running back, but we will, I think, have them both on the field and move them out of the backfield.

"We're not going to take RB off the front of (Bell's) name and put WR, but I definitely think he is one of our best receivers."

With Bell on the sidelines to start 2016, Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson leaped ahead as the best dual-threat back in the league. The Cards often deploy Johnson in passing formations to create mismatches. Bell said he'd like to dabble more in the slot game.

"Last year, we started to get into more me moving around and things like that," Bell said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "I want to continue to grow, and as long as I keep going out there doing what I'm doing and don't fall off from what I've learned already as they keep adding things on, I'll be fine."

Bell should still get the bulk of the carries in his return, but with the current questions at receiver, getting the talented back involved heavily in the passing game is a necessary move for Big Ben.

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