The injury that sidelined Le'Veon Bell for most of the Steelers' loss to the Patriots in the AFC title game might require surgery.

Bell, who's scheduled to become a free agent this offseason, revealed that he might need offseason surgery on Wednesday. He told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette that he's ready to see his third specialist.

Bell only took the field for 11 total snaps before the injury forced him to watch the Steelers' season end with a loss to the Patriots. After the game, he revealed that he had been dealing with the injury in the weeks leading up to the AFC title game, which came as a shock because he hadn't been listed on any injury reports.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin also admitted that he knew about the injury.

"I was aware of it," Tomlin said, via ESPN. "But it wasn't significant to the point where it affected planning or the anticipation of planning in any way. It was unfortunate that it became an issue in-game. But it wasn't something that was on our radar from that perspective. ... I can go down a myriad of other people that have similar things they were working to manage."

As a result, the NFL reportedly launched an investigation to see if the Steelers hid the injury. However, Bell rushed for 153 yards per game in the three contests before their season-ending loss. So it doesn't seem like the injury was significant before the AFC title game.

Bell is no stranger to rehab. A year ago, Bell spent his offseason recovering from a serious MCL injury, but it didn't impact his 2016 season. He racked up 1,884 yards from scrimmage in 12 regular-season games.

Though he'll become a free agent, he's expected to return to the team.