Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers announced that rookie halfback Le’Veon Bell is expected to take his first NFL snaps in London on Sunday against the Vikings. Bell missed the first 3 games due to a sprain in his foot, missed most of the preseason as well.
Although it’s a less-than-ideal introduction to the NFL, the Steelers need Bell to be ready to go for this game. With the 31st ranked rushing offense, the Steelers can’t catch a break when it comes to injuries and trades. Their offensive line is decimated and cannot protect quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The best way to remedy the problem is to establish a solid run game.
But will Le’Veon be able to perform? As the 48th overall pick in the draft, he’s long been compared to the second coming of Eddie George for the Tennessee Titans. Without taking a regular season snap yet, Bell is very unlikely to come in and set the world on fire. Roethlisberger seems to have his doubts too.
“Honestly, I have no idea with him,” Roethlisberger told 93.7 the Fan. “You can’t get a read on him. One day, he’s practicing, one day, he’s not; one day, he’s going hard, the next day, he’s not.”
If Bell isn’t establishing a consistent work ethic while he’s young, will it get better with age? There’s no denying Bell is the most talented running-back on the team, but talent does not always translate into productivity. Try to avoid playing Bell this week. This will be his very first game in the NFL and he most certainly need time to get settled in.