If Le’Veon Bell decides to take advice from James Harrison, expect a lot of “sudden” pulled hamstrings this season. Appearing on FS1’s Undisputed Tuesday, Harrison suggested that when Bell decides to report to the team, he should fake injury to avoid playing in games.
Here’s what Harrison said, as transcribed by Pro Football Talk.
“I think the play for Le’Veon, if I’m Le’Veon, is I’m coming back — what is it, November 13? — and I’m gonna go in there, I’m gonna get my credit for the season I need to get, and I’m gonna do the best I can to get out of that season healthy. And, for me, I’d give you everything in practice, you would see — the cameras would see — that I am fine, I am healthy. But come Saturday, ‘Something ain’t right, I can’t play on Sunday.’ Because if I go out here and I mess something up I’m losing a lot of money,”
The argument being that Bell reporting allows him to get paid and accrue his season, making it financially impossible for the Steelers to tag him after the season, while minimizing the risk of injury. Though I’m not sure if Harrison is arguing for Bell to do this every week, or once, or keep up with the lie over the course of the season.
Though not a “fake” injury, Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas said something similar after this weekend. He told reporters that if he had any sort of injury, even something minor, he would opt against practicing to avoid that risk.
Earl Thomas on missing practice: "I need to make sure my body is 100. I'm investing in myself. If they were investing in me, I would be out there practicing. But I feel like if any thing, I don't give a damn if it's small, I got a headache, I'm not practicing."
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) September 24, 2018
Seattle is reportedly still fielding offers for Thomas while Adam Schefter reported last week the Steelers are listening to calls for Bell.
Of course, Bell still needs to report first, something that’s unlikely to happen for at least another month, probably more. And there’s still always the chance that he simply doesn’t show up at all, daring the Steelers to tag him again (something they’re unlikely to do), and then hit free agency without playing a down in 2018. While that means he went the entire year without a paycheck, it means he went the year without any risk. And at least didn’t have to fake an injury, like Harrison advises.
You can listen to Harrison state his case below.
"If I'm Le'Veon, I'm coming back November 13th, and I'd give you everything in practice … but come Saturday. Something ain't right. I can't play on Sunday." — @jharrison9292 pic.twitter.com/wwRhutWnd2
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) September 25, 2018