The Pittsburgh Steelers knew running back Le’Veon Bell had an injured groin ahead of their AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots and now their under investigation for failing to list that ailment of his on the team’s injury report.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the NFL now looking into whether the Steelers failed to list Bell properly on injury report last week.
“I am aware of that,” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday when asked if he knew about Bell’s groin injury ahead the AFC Championship game. “He was doing a great job of managing it. It didn’t cause him to miss any practice time, let alone game time. It was just something to manage. I think when you look at the journey that is the season, I think that just about every guy down there is dealing with and managing something in effort to stay on the grass. So I was aware of it, but it wasn’t significant to the point to where it affected planning or the anticipation of planning in any way. It’s unfortunate that it became an issue in-game, but it wasn’t something that was on our radar from that perspective.”
Bell’s groin injury wound up becoming an issue for the Steelers in the first quarter against the Patriots and it resulted in him needing to leave the game for good. After the game, Bell admitted that he’d been managing the injury for some time despite him not being listed on the team’s injury report with a groin designation.
“Yeah. I’ve been trying to micromanage it through the whole thing, just trying to keep it to myself and not trying to scare anybody,” Bell said after the game. “Today [Sunday], it just kind of broke the camel’s back and I couldn’t go.”
Last week, Bell sat out Wednesday’s practice and he was listed on the team’s daily report as not being injury related. The running back also failed to practice on Thursday as he was apparently excused from the team to go witness the birth of his baby in California.
It will be interesting to see if the Steelers wind up being penalized by the NFL, who are also looking into a similar situation with the Seattle Seahawks as it relates to them potentially failing to list cornerback Richard Sherman on their injury reports properly throughout the 2016 season.
There is some early speculation that the Seahawks could ultimately have a draft pick taken away from them if any wrongdoings are found related to Sherman and the injury report and you now have to think the Steelers might be in jeopardy of facing a similar punishment as well.