The Steelers-Ravens Thanksgiving night game will best be remembered for coach Mike Tomlin moseying onto the field (unwittingly or otherwise, you decide). And that spectacle has obscured one of the scariest plays of the season: Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell diving for the end zone and taking a helmet-to-helmet hit that not only dislodged his helmet but knocked him out cold.
Bell, diagnosed with a concussion (duh), eventually came to and walked off the field with some help. But days later the rookie running back admitted that he had no memory of what happened.
"I don't remember the exact play," Bell said, via the team web site. "I didn't remember it when it first happened. Once I came off the field I didn't really know I had scored. Then they told me I did; then they told me it wasn't a touchdown. I wasn't aware of what was going on at the time because I got hit. I can't really remember what happened."
Bell ran some during Monday's practice but hasn't yet been cleared to play Sunday against the Dolphins. He will have to go through the league's concussion protocol before he will be allowed to take the field.
“I feel good," Bell said. "I felt like I started to feel better the next day. After the hit I was out of it a little bit, but the next day I woke up and was feeling better and have felt progressively better each day.”
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh Magazine's Sean Conboy notes that, despite all the talk of player safety, the reality is that hits like the one near the Ravens' goal line Thursday night are here to stay.
"The truth is self-evident: NFL players are going to continue smashing their brains in this manner for a very long time, and there's nothing we can do to stop it," Conboy writes.
"The collision did not result in a penalty. It was an unavoidable car crash. Involuntary manslaughter at worst. If the Ravens' Jimmy Smith doesn't bear down and spear Bell into oblivion, he probably gets cut tomorrow. It was the only play Smith could make."