Even though Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell appears to be well on his way to being ready for the start of the 2016 regular season after suffering torn knee ligaments seven and a half months ago, the Michigan State product said recently in an interview with Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network that he still has to overcome one important aspect associated with his rehab.
“I feel like you can’t really get the full thing until your actually in the game,” said Bell. “So I feel like once I start really putting on pads and really getting back into it, just reacting how I was, not really thinking about how my knee is, that’s when I think I’ll be back. Right now there’s still little mental things. I feel like, oh I don’t want hurt it, or I don’t want to do this or do that, so right now I just have to get over the mental aspects of it. But I know my knee is strong enough, I feel well enough, I know I’m in great conditioning, so right now it’s just mental right now.”
Bell battling the mental aspect isn’t surprising one bit as I’m sure all athletes that have suffered the same kind of injury go through that stage during rehab. It’s probably especially hard on running backs as cutting is a huge part or their game.
Now that the Steelers offseason program has ended, Bell appears to be predictably finishing up his rehab and offseason training in Miami at Bommarito Performance Systems. He recently posted an Instagram video of him doing just that and it doesn’t look like his knee is hindering him any whatsoever.
When Bell does arrive in Latrobe for the start of training camp in late July, it won’t be surprising to see him placed on the team’s Active PUP list as a precautionary measure. From there, he’ll likely be brought along slowly through the remainder of the offseason and that includes him possibly not receiving any playing time during the preseason.
Assuming things go as planned, Bell should be able to be ready for the start of the regular season. With that said, the Steelers still might decide to limit his workload in the team’s first few games by platooning him with veteran running back DeAngelo Williams.
“For one, I just got to make sure I stay healthy,” Bell told Kinkhabwala when asked how he intends on being better this year. “I feel like everything else with take care of itself. I learned the offense, I know just about everything that’s going on, just about all of the positions. So right now, I just got to make sure I stay healthy.”