The Le’Veon Bell holdout is not expected to end by the time the Steelers suit up for their third preseason game, which is Saturday night against the Colts. But the running back still plans to return before the regular season.
While Bell is expected to avoid a return in time for this exhibition contest, a source who spoke to ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler revealed it would be surprising if he stayed away much longer due to his “love for football.” The timing of the franchise-tagged runner’s holdout points to Bell skipping preseason play.
Just more than two weeks remain between the third Steelers preseason game and their September 10 opener in Cleveland. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley having been in place for Bell’s entire tenure in Pittsburgh shouldn’t make many pre-Week 1 reps necessary for the 25-year-old, though.
Bell is attached to a $12.12MM cap number once he signs his tender and returns to the Steelers. Missing games would mean forfeiting a prorated portion of that amount, which is by far a league-high for running backs this season.
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