Meadville Tribune

Sports

August 21, 2013

NFL: Steelers rookie RB Bell out with foot injury

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers’ crowded backfield is sorting itself out.

Just not the way coach Mike Tomlin envisioned.

What started as a three-man race between Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer and rookie Le’Veon Bell is turning into a battle of attrition after Tomlin ruled Bell out of Saturday’s game against Kansas City with a right foot injury.

Bell underwent an MRI on Tuesday and Tomlin said he will wait for a second opinion before making a determination about Bell’s long-term status. Tomlin brushed aside reports that Bell is out several weeks.

“I’ll address the injuries (Thursday),” Tomlin said. “I haven’t met with the doctors (yet).”

The setback is the latest in what is quickly becoming a frustrating camp for the 48th overall pick in the NFL Draft. The Steelers noted Bell’s durability and his versatility when they selected the 21-year-old out of Michigan State. Bell’s 382 carries last season led the entire country. Throw in his 32 receptions and Bell averaged more than 30 touches a game without incident.

For two weeks, Bell looked even better than advertised, so good Tomlin named Bell a co-starter even though a sore left knee kept him out of the preseason opener against the New York Giants. Bell aggravated the injury in practice last week only to recover in time to start on Monday night in Washington.

The highly anticipated debut lasted a handful of snaps. Bell carried four times for nine yards before tweaking a foot with an injury that suddenly swings the door open for Dwyer and Redman.

It’s a door both players have struggled walking through.

Redman spent last season dealing with ankle injuries and was held out of Monday’s game after suffering a stinger in practice. Dwyer stepped in and ran for 68 yards on 14 carries but also fumbled, a major concern for a team that finished minus-10 in the giveaway/takeaway ratio in 2012.

“I think I’m doing OK, but I know I can be better,” Dwyer said. “I’m just trying to be consistently consistent and show something different each and every week and each and every game.”

At the moment, the Steelers would settle for having the same face back there for an extended period of time. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley reshuffled the offensive line and introduced a zone blocking scheme in in the offseason. Results have been mixed at best for a team that ranked 29th in yards per carry a year ago.

Though stressing it’s too early to get concerned, Dwyer and Redman understand it’s time to get serious.

“Le’Veon’s down, and we’re a little banged up,” Redman said. “So, I’m ready to step up and lead this room.”

Redman’s done it sporadically in the past, but each step forward has been met by a step back. In a contract season, he understands this is his last chance to show the Steelers — or some other NFL team — he can become a reliable starter.

His preference is to remain in Pittsburgh, but the Steelers intend to turn Bell into the guy who will carry the load through the rest of the decade. Haley’s track record with running backs is impressive. He turned Jamaal Charles into the NFL’s second-leading rusher in 2010 while coaching the Chiefs, a season that ended with Kansas City in the playoffs.

For Pittsburgh to get back there the Steelers know they’ll need to take some pressure off quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Having young and productive legs in the backfield will help. Bell is eager to live up to the billing.

At the moment, however, the only place he’s living is the training room.

While Dwyer and Redman went through the paces on Wednesday, Bell sat on a table getting treatment.

It’s a place Dwyer and Redman have visited regularly through the years. One more extended trip and they understand their careers may be in jeopardy. It’s why both players dropped a significant amount of weight in the offseason. Redman shed 15 pounds while Dwyer lost closer to 30. They hope the added quickness will make them more effective.

Bell’s uncertain status gives them one final shot at making a lasting impression. Redman remains adamant he can produce. If he can, what looks like a tough call might turn into an easy one.

“I’m pretty sure that they would be glad if somebody would come out and separate themselves from the bunch,” Redman said. “I know they would never be opposed to that.

“And, hopefully, I can do that.”

NOTES: The Steelers activated tight end David Johnson from the physically unable to perform list on Wednesday. Johnson hasn’t played since tearing the ACL in his right knee last summer. Johnson said he’s optimistic he can play on Saturday. Pittsburgh needs help at tight end while Pro Bowl starter Heath Miller returns from a left knee injury. ... Offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum is getting a look at left tackle this week. Beachum started five games at right tackle last season.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Hawley scores District 1 finishes off dominant pool performance by trouncing New Jersey

    Pitchers often get the most credit in shutout victories. And Emma Osborne, Katy Dunn and Emily Beddick have certainly been deserving for District 1.
    Its defense, though, has been equally deserving.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sliding into second District 1 remains unbeaten after two routs

    Becca Siple’s response to a question on Twitter may have said it all.
    “Best experience of my life,” Siple said, when asked by The Meadville Tribune via Twitter to describe her experience thus far at the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament. Following her response was the hashtag #D1isfamily.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Steelers camp Steelers LB Spence caps lengthy comeback

    The whistle blew and Sean Spence sprinted forward, each cathartic step distancing the linebacker from the horrific knee injury that threatened to end his NFL career before it even really began.
    Spence almost gleefully smashed into fullback Bryce Davis during the Pittsburgh Steelers’ first full contact drill of training camp on Monday. The two tussled for several seconds before Davis — his fists full of Spence’s jersey — pulled them both to the ground.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • District 1 dominates at East Regional

    Outscoring its opponents 32-0, District 1 moved to 3-0 at the Senior League Softball East Regional Tournament on Monday with a pair of wins.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kissing the bricks Gordon wins at Indy for record 5th time

    With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again.
    Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight days before his 43rd birthday and on the weekend Indianapolis Motor Speedway celebrated the 20th anniversary of his first Brickyard victory.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Roethlisberger OK with choice to wait on new deal

    There are days when Ben Roethlisberger can feel every single hit he’s absorbed during a decade as one of the NFL’s most fearless quarterbacks.
    And there are days when the Pittsburgh Steelers star sees the young faces surrounding him in the huddle and it seems like he can play forever.

    July 26, 2014

  • Teen doping Survey: Teens experimenting with HGH on the rise

    Michael Guerreri wanted to try human growth hormones so he could look like a pro wrestler. Joe Badalanato hoped HGH would help him become a better football player. James O’Brien figured the drug would improve his fastball.
    The three 18-year-olds from suburban Philadelphia told The Associated Press this week that they bought bottles of HGH online in the past year. Turns out, what they bought was fake.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Montoya back at Indy intent on winning for Penske

    Juan Pablo Montoya is back at Indianapolis Motor Speedway — one night only, an encore of sorts, in a guest-starring role for Team Penske.
    The Colombian is entered in the Brickyard 400 for the explicit purpose of winning at Indy in NASCAR and giving team owner Roger Penske one of the few trophies missing from his collection.

    July 25, 2014

  • Haley Wise District 1 looking forward to bigger goals

    The members of the District 1 Senior League softball team haven’t spent a whole lot of time playing together.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meadville's magical season comes to an end

    The state run is over for the Meadville Junior League All-Stars.
    Guess they’ll just have to content themselves with a District 1 championship, a Section 1 championship and an incredible turnaround from the year before.

    July 24, 2014

Sports Scoreboard
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Business Marquee
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Poll

A South Carolina woman was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The decision has created a debate over “free-range” parenting and whether it’s a good idea or not. What’s your take?

I’m fine with it. If she cannot afford childcare, what choice does she have?
This is horrible and very bad parenting.
I’m torn. It’s not right what she did, but it sounds like the mother had few other options.
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks