After a miserable 0-3 start to the season, the Pittsburgh Steelers will take any good news that they can get at the moment.
They appear to have some in rookie running back Le’Veon Bell. After missing the first three weeks of the season, the Steelers announced on Tuesday that Bell would play in Week 4.
Huge news for Steelers, team is now planning to play RB Le’Veon Bell this week. Progressed faster than they thought.
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) September 24, 2013
How much the rookie will play likely depends on how he practices this week, but Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin noted during his weekly press conference that Bell would have no restrictions this week in practice.
When asked if Bell would start, Tomlin replied: “He’s going to play, yes.”
Even though the Steelers rushed for a season-high 80 yards Sunday night against the Bears, Bell’s return couldn’t come at a better time for the Steelers’ struggling offense.
Bell will hopefully provide a spark to a rushing attack that ranks 31st in the NFL (155 yards through three games) and ranks 28th in the league in total offense.
While Bell, without playing a single down in the NFL to date, is already the Steelers most talented back, you have to wonder what type of impact he is going to have behind a suspect offensive line.
You also have to wonder how much Tomlin can allow him to see the field considering he missed pretty much all of the preseason and has never had to pick up an NFL blitz before. That’s something he is going to have to prove before we see Bell assume the role of feature back.
But considering how thin the Steelers are on talent at every position on the field, it may not be long before Bell stakes claim to the No. 1 running back spot.
If things stay the way they are now, he will get his first opportunity to do so on Sunday.