Along with the
Coach Mike Tomlin said earlier in the week that Bell may be given a day off after he ran 29 times in last week's wild-card win over the Dolphins. The running back is thus expected to return to practice Thursday, as the
Bell may not take part in practice Wednesday, Bob Labriola of the Steelers' official site reports. "Bell has some bumps and bruises associated with play," head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday. "He touched it a few times, so I may give him a day, on Wednesday. "
After taking a seat in Week 17, Bell received more than a few touches once the Steelers posted a pair of early TD connections between Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown on Sunday. In all, Bell accounted for 29 carries for a franchise playoff-best 167 yards, so a day off Wednesday would be warranted for the four-year pro. No matter the regimen be follows as the week goes on, he'll be preparing to exploit the Chiefs' 26th-ranked run defense this Sunday.
Bell carried 29 times for 167 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's wild card game against the Dolphins. He also caught both targets for seven yards in the 30-12 win.
Making his first career playoff appearance, Bell gashed Miami for 5.8 yards per carry to set a Steelers franchise postseason rushing record. He was not as involved as he normally is in the passing game, but the early lead Pittsburgh jumped out to was a large factor in that development. Bell is firing at all cylinders at the moment and will likely receive as many touches as he can handle next week in what should be a tougher matchup against the Chiefs.
Per the report, the tag for running backs figures to be worth more than $12 million, while the anticipated move would give both sides the opportunity to work out a long-term deal for Bell. In any case, barring an unexpected change of heart, it's clear that the Steelers don't plan on losing the versatile back in free agency after the current campaign, with the team also of a mind to extend the contract of star wideout Antonio Brown, who is under contact next season. QB Ben Roethlisberger is already signed through 2019.
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