Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said the team does not have a rehab timetable for Bell (groin), the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac reports. "Our goal is to have [Bell] 100 percent for the 2017 season," Colbert said.
Bell had surgery March 13 to repair the core muscle injury that left him sidelined for most of the AFC championship game. He also received the Steelers' franchise tag earlier this offseason, with the two sides hoping to reach a long-term agreement while Bell recovers from his surgery. There's still plenty of time before the July 15 deadline, and Bell's rehab process isn't expected to interfere with his Week 1 availability. While the current injury shouldn't have too much impact on negotiations, the Steelers can't ignore that their star running back has missed 20 of a possible 70 games since entering the league in 2013.
Bell (groin) underwent surgery Monday to repair a core muscle injury, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports.
Bell was previously anticipated to avoid going under the knife, but nearly two months after a groin injury kept him sidelined for the majority of Pittsburgh's AFC championship loss, surgery was ultimately deemed the best course of action to help him long-term. While Bell, who has missed 20 of 70 possible games since entering the league, will now be forced to come back from another injury, the procedure's six-week timetable doesn't figure to keep him out of action very long. After receiving the Steelers' franchise tag two weeks ago, July 15 also represents a target date for Bell, as he has until then to reach a multi-year extension with the team.
Bell received Pittsburgh's franchise tag to start this week, giving his representatives and the Steelers until July 15 to reach agreement on a long-term deal. However, after inking wideout Antonio Brown to a new five-year contract Monday, it appears the Steelers are already close to cementing Bell's future with the team as well. While it's unclear exactly when to expect Bell's deal to be finalized, the report seems to suggest that news could come sooner than later.
By placing the franchise tag on Bell, the Steelers have secured his place with the team through at least the 2017 season. It remains unclear if Bell will sign the franchise tag, which will guarantee him roughly $12 million for the year, or if he'll hold out for a multi-year extension. When healthy, Bell has been one of the best backs in the NFL. He totaled 1,268 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 261 carries in 2016, and he added an additional 616 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 75 catches, all while appearing in just 12 regular season games. However, he's missed time in the past due to suspensions, knee injuries, and his current groin concern, which could make the Steelers hesitant to agree to a high-priced, long-term extension.
Bell (groin) isn't expected to undergo groin surgery this offseason, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Per Rapoport, a procedure would have been performed at this point, if specialists deemed it crucial to Bell's long-term health. Instead, Bell will focus on rehabilitating the groin injury that forced him to sit out all but 11 of the Steelers' 69 offensive snaps in the AFC championship game. In the coming days, the organization must choose whether to apply its franchise tag to Bell by March 1, work out a long-term deal by March 9, or risk losing him as an unrestricted free agent after 4 PM ET on the latter date. The 25-year-old has recorded at least 1,800 total yards, 75 receptions, and nine touchdowns in two of the last three seasons, but multiple suspensions and ailments have wiped away 20 of a possible 70 games in his four-year career, so the front office may be reticent to allocate significant money to the All-Pro.
|P1||8/11/17||@ NYG||7:00 pm|
|P4||8/31/17||@ CAR||7:30 pm|
|1||9/10/17||@ CLE||1:00 pm|
|3||9/24/17||@ CHI||1:00 pm|
|4||10/1/17||@ BAL||1:00 pm|
|6||10/15/17||@ KC||4:25 pm|
|8||10/29/17||@ DET||8:30 pm|
|Bye: Week 9|
|10||11/12/17||@ IND||1:00 pm|
|13||12/4/17||@ CIN||8:30 pm|
|16||12/25/17||@ HOU||4:30 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|