But then he went and caught eight passes for 88 yards and a touchdown against the Texans in Week 7, putting him second among all running backs with 36 receptions, behind only Matt Forte (who remains in a class of his own). In PPR leagues, he's also third among running backs, behind Forte and DeMarco Murray, in Fantasy points to date.
Even better, his touchdown came from the 2-yard line -- a situation where the Steelers may have gone to LeGarrette Blount earlier in the season. Only one of Blount's seven carries even came in Texans' territory in this one.
Bell's touchdown total seven weeks into the season may be disappointing, but in terms of his receiving ability and role on offense, the verdict is in. If we were re-drafting today, he might be one of the first five running backs off the board.
Bell caught eight passes for 88 yards and a touchdown and ran 12 times for 57 yards (4.8 ypc). He broke free from linebacker Brian Cushing in the second quarter, turning a short reception into a 43-yard gain. Right before halftime Bell exploited a blown coverage for a 2-yard score.
Bell's eight targets ranked second on the team behind Antonio Brown's 13. Bell, who surprisingly has only two touchdowns this year, plays the Colts in Week 8.
Judge Richard Opiela ordered Bell to undergo an on-the-spot drug and alcohol evaluation.
"It has nothing to do with Mr. Bell and everything to do with the charges he's facing," Opiela said.
Bell and fellow Steelers running back LeGarrette Blount were arrested after a traffic stop in late August. The police officer smelled marijuana coming from a vehicle the men were in with a female friend. Police charged Bell with prohibited acts and driving under the influence. Prosecutors added an additional charge of general impairment at the hearing.
Bell finished with 82 yards on 18 carries and added four receptions for 23 yards. But he had just 10 attempts on the ground after the first quarter and two in the fourth.
The Week 6 performance did give him 542 yards rushing on the season. He has exceeded 100 yards of total offense in every game. He will attempt to do the same against Houston next Monday night.
Bell made the most of his 15 attempts in the defeat of the Jaguars, rushing for 82 yards. Pittsburgh opted for more passing, however, when it worked its way into the red zone.
"I feel like a lot of runners in the NFL; the more they get the ball, they more they get into a rhythm," Bell told NFL.com. "The better (rhythm) I get, the game kind of slows down for you. You get into kind of a zone."
The Browns rank 30th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per rush at 5.1 and tied for 29th in yards allowed on the ground per game at 152.5. Those struggles could result in Bell receiving more opportunities in Week 6.
|10||11/9/14||@ NYJ||1:00 pm|
|11||11/17/14||@ TEN||8:30 pm|
|Bye: Week 12|
|14||12/7/14||@ CIN||1:00 pm|
|15||12/14/14||@ ATL||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
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