The Le'Veon Bell drama hit a high note on Sunday night as the Steelers stumbled through an ugly home loss against the Ravens in prime time, just a few hours after Earl Thomas, another notable holdout, suffered a season-ending injury. It was hard not to see why Bell was staying away.

But he won't be away for much longer: according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, Bell is planning to return to the Steelers in Week 7 to report for duty.

Additionally, Fowler reports that Bell "definitely plans to play football for the Steelers this season." 

Will the Steelers be willing to take him back? Bell has been holding out for the entire season thus far, watching the Steelers offense struggle badly without him on offense. He made it clear he had no intention of rolling back into town any time soon.

The team let it be widely known over the last few weeks that they are willing to deal the running back, who was given the franchise tag for the second straight year by the Steelers this offseason. The Eagles are a sleeper for his services

Previously we were under the impression the Steelers were done with Bell and just willing to move on. Various teammates of his went out of their way to bash the running back publicly when he continued to miss practice in the early portion of the season.

The tune everyone is singing could have changed at this point, though. The Steelers look awful on both sides of the ball and are now 1-2-1 on the season, having gotten lucky to escape in Week 3 with a victory over the Buccaneers on Monday night football as their lone win of the season.

Offensively they've looked imbalanced and lost. The Steelers have nine periods -- eight quarters and one overtime period -- with nary a score, and on Sunday night they managed to "produce" nine different drives that went for 30 yards or less. James Conner's filled in admirably, but they clearly miss Bell (even if the problems run deeper than just the lack of a running back. 

Bell will earn around $9.4 million of his franchise tender if he comes in and signs in Week 7. 

The Steelers, as noted by Adam Schefter of ESPN, could actually keep Bell around longer now, as a result of his absence, potentially utilizing the franchise tag on the running back next year. Doing so would cost them $11.3 million on a one-year deal, less than what it cost them to tag him this offseason.

Pittsburgh trading Bell is still very much on the table, however. It wouldn't be shocking to see the Steelers get the running back under contract and proceed to deal him to another team interested in his services.

Returning to Pittsburgh in Week 7 would mean Bell misses the game against the Falcons in Week 5 and the Bengals in Week 6. The Steelers are on bye in Week 7 and face the Browns in Pittsburgh during Week 8.