Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is expected to be back on the field at 100 percent when the 2016 NFL season gets underway.
But on a podcast with Field Yates, ESPN injury expert Stephania Bell didn’t sound so optimistic when talking about Bell’s knee and his long-term prognosis:
“You’re talking about gross instability at the knee, potentially,” Bell said. “This is a very compromised knee.”
These certainly are not welcome words for the Steelers and their fans. The words “compromised knee” are bad for any football player. That’s only magnified when we are talking about running backs.
Only time will tell how much of an impact this knee injury will have on Bell’s career, but he would not be the first running back to have his career altered by a knee injury.
Said injuries are especially brutal on backs like Bell, who rely more on speed and agility than anything else.
Bell’s specific injury is worrisome because it involved two tears in his knee. The running back suffered tears in his medial collateral (MCL) and posterior cruciate (PCL) ligaments in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals last November.
For his part, Bell does not seem terribly concerned with his injury. He recently posted a video on Twitter demonstrating his footwork.
Bell certainly looks good there, but he’s obviously not toting a football or dodging would be tacklers. How much that will translate to actual football action won’t be determined until at least training camp.
Bell has been one of the NFL’s best running backs since getting drafted by Pittsburgh in 2013. He rushed for a career high 1,361 yards in 2014, adding 83 receptions for 854 yards.
In only six games last season, Bell put up nearly 700 total yards.
Needless to say, Pittsburgh needs him back in the mix at 100 percent in order to improve off last year’s playoff appearance.