The Pittsburgh Steelers first OTA practice of the 2016 season took place on Tuesday and while he was a limited participant, running back Le’Veon Bell was able to get on the field for some work with his fellow teammates. Bell, who talked extensively about his offseason knee rehab with the media following Tuesday’s practice, also admitted that he and his agent have yet to have any conversations with the Steelers about a possible contract extension that could potentially happen prior to the start of the regular season.
“We haven’t had discussions or anything yet, so I’m going to kind of let that thing take care of itself and we’ll see where it goes from there,” said Bell, who missed second half of the 2015 season due to a serious knee injury that took place in the team’s Week 8 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Even though Bell has missed 13 regular season and 3 playoff games during his first three years in the league due to knee and foot injuries, the former second-round draft pick out of Michigan State doesn’t consider himself as being a player who is injury prone.
“Some people look at it being injury prone, or whatever, it’s not like I’m out here tweaking my hamstrings or spraining my ankles, or stuff like that,” said Bell. “Obviously it was two nasty tackles that I had and even when I hurt my foot my rookie year, I just felt like it was an unfortunate injury because before these last three years, I’ve never been injured at football. So I feel like my luck hopefully should change this year and I’ll be on the field. There’s nothing freaky and obviously keep taking care of my body and doing the little things right and I feel like I’ll be ok.”
When Bell now looks back at the knee injury that he suffered last year against the Bengals, he’s convinced they purposefully tried to hurt him.
“I feel there are a lot of teams that try to do that, try to take me out of the game,” Bell said, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. “I don’t think it was just [Vontaze Burfict]. It felt like the whole team was out there trying to twist my ankles and do little dirty stuff in between piles … I was ignorant to the fact at first.”
Bell later went on to say that he expects to be ready for the start of training camp this year and that the team has no plans to rush him along late in his recovery process.
“Once it’s actually time to go, I’ll be 100 percent,” Bell said. “I feel great.”