As the Pittsburgh Steelers get ready to evaluate players at this year’s scouting combine they’ve yet to determine if running back Le’Veon Bell will need surgery to repair the groin injury that he suffered last season during the playoffs.
During his Wednesday question and answer session at the combine with the Pittsburgh media, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert updated the status of Bell, who is reportedly dealing with a sports hernia.
“Sooner than later he’ll have to make a decision,” Colbert said, per Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “The longer it goes if it’s not getting better, it needs to be addressed so he can rehab quicker so he can be ready for the season.”
Colbert did admit Wednesday that Bell recently had a second opinion on his injury so one can speculate that a final decision will be made very soon in case Bell needs to rehab from surgery.
This past week there was a report by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network that Bell wouldn’t need surgery. Rapoport, however, has a long history of faulting reporting so we’ll see if that’s ultimately the case or not.
The Steelers placed the franchise tag on Bell this past Monday and because of that transaction they’ll now have until July 15 to work out a long-term contract extension with him. Colbert discussed that process on Wednesday as well.
“When we put the tag on him we had to do it by today,” Colbert said Wednesday during an interview on Steelers Nation Radio. “That was necessary in order to retain his rights like we did. The exclusive tag makes it that nobody can talk to him but us. But the intention has always been, and Le’Veon understands it and Adisa Bakari, his agent, understands, our intention is to sign him to a long-term deal and we have until July 15th to do that.
“But we also have to acknowledge the more at-hand business of our own free agents that will be potentially free as of March 9th, and then the free agents that might await us after March 9th. So, Le’Veon won’t be put on the back-burner, but other business will be happening at the same time.”