Steelers fans were nervously anticipating rookie Le’Veon Bell’s NFL regular season debut as they watched their team struggle out of the gate in the 2013-2014 NFL Season. After starting a dismal 0-3, Bell joined the team and immediately took on the brunt of the workload for Mike Tomlin’s running game.
Bell sustained a foot injury in a preseason game against the Washington Redskins and not only did it drastically limit the potential of their running game — it hurt the Pittsburgh Steelers’ official NFL odds of winning.
Those who had stashed Bell on their Fantasy Football bench at the beginning of the season rejoiced as he rushed for 57 yards, caught four passes for another 27, and ran it in for two touchdowns against the Minnesota Vikings in his first regular season game, the NFL International Series game in London.
The Reynoldsberg, Ohio native entered the NFL with considerable pedigree as a second round draft pick and the top rusher in the Big Ten during the 2012 season.
His Week 6 performance against the New York Jets was less inspiring as he carried the ball 16 times for 34 yards and caught 3 passes for another 22. That didn’t worry fans much as the Black and Yellow put their first win in the books, winning 19-6.
Mike Tomlin has been supportive of Bell’s abilities and potential, and with a less-than-impressive depth chart at the running back position, expect him to continue to get the majority of the touches in the Steelers’ back field.
Pittsburgh will no doubt look to get everything they can from the young running back as they currently sit at last in the AFC North and are a long ways away from relevance for the 2013-2014 season. Barring a drastic turnaround, the Steelers playoff hopes look to have been stalled in the midst of their early season struggles.