It’s been 10 months since Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell was knocked out of last year’s Week 17 game against the Cincinnati Bengals with a knee injury after he was hit low by safety Reggie Nelson.
Even though Bell revealed on Wednesday that his right knee that he hyperextended in that contest will likely never feel the same again, he holds no hard feelings against Nelson. In fact, Bell says the Bengals safety went low on him on that play because of what happened earlier in the game.
“Earlier in that game, I kind of got the best of him,” Bell told Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Gene Collier. “He went high against me and I kind of won that battle. Obviously I’m a bigger guy, so [on the latter play] I was catching the ball over the middle and he chose to go low.”
While the outcome was unfortunate, Nelson’s hit was legal and thus he wasn’t flagged on the play or fined after the game. Bell said Wednesday that he understands Nelson’s job is to get him on the ground by any means possible.
“I don’t think he intended to hurt me,” Bell told Collier. “I just think he tried to go low, and it was just an ugly hit. The way my body was positioned, it was an ugly hit. My knee ended up a little nasty. I’m just fortunate it wasn’t as bad as it looked.”
While the Steelers ultimately won that Week 17 game, Bell came out a loser as he was unable to play in the Wild Card game of the Pro Bowl because of his knee injury. On Sunday, Bell will face the Bengals and Nelson once again and hopefully the Steelers running back can pick up where he left off last year as he’s certainly played well against Cincinnati so far during his career.