Steelers rookie running back Le'Veon Bell missed the first preseason game because of a knee injury. Coach Mike Tomlin said that Bell would return to practice this week -- which he did -- and would have plenty of time to prove himself before the start of the regular season.
On Thursday, Bell again aggravated the knee, after ending a stretch play in "a pile of players," according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Bell remained on the turf for several minutes before walking slowly off the field.
Big things are expected of Bell, the team's second-round pick who had recently found himself atop the depth chart alongside Isaac Redman. The odd man out, it seems, is Jonathan Dwyer. At least that was the case before Thursday's practice because Redman, too, was injured.
Redman just got knocked out by Foote 1st play from scrimmage. Now getting up slowly.— James C Wexell (@jimwexell) August 15, 2013
Redman's injury was eventually classified as a stinger, and Tomlin said he's not concerned that Bell suffered an MCL sprain.
I've talked to a couple of #Steelers, who don't believe Bell's injury is serious.— James C Wexell (@jimwexell) August 15, 2013
This is why #Steelers wouldn't have cut Dwyer. They can win with him as feature back.— James C Wexell (@jimwexell) August 15, 2013
The Steelers were 6-3 last season before injuries to key players -- including Ben Roethlisberger -- resulted in an 8-8 finish. The running game was in shambles before Big Ben got hurt, and if that phase of the offense is to improve in 2013, Bell will need to stay healthy. Obviously.