Despite earlier reports Le’Veon Bell would possibly report today in order to receive his Week One game check, the running back did not show up to Pittsburgh today, per Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter, who tweeted the team buses have left without him.
The #Steelers buses are on the road to Cleveland and RB Le’Veon Bell is not on them, I’m told. Bell will leave a $855K game check on the table and the wait is on. James Conner is their starter until Bell is back.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 8, 2018
The 4 p.m. deadline today will come and go without Steelers' RB Le'Veon Bell reporting, per sources. Steelers are on their way to Cleveland and Bell is not with them. He will miss Sunday's game against Cleveland, along with the opportunity to earn $853,000. James Conner time.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 8, 2018
Per a Thursday evening report by Rapoport, people closer to the situation were expecting Bell to report to the Steelers on Saturday so that he could collect his Week 1 game check yet not play in Sunday’s road game against the Cleveland Browns.
“Le’Veon Bell and his agent Adisa Bakari have not informed the Steelers of any plans as far as when he’s going to report,” Rapoport explained on NFL Network Thursday night. “And Bell, himself, has not told any of his teammates, which certainly would explain why everyone in this situation appears miffed. But from the best I can tell from the people involved in this, their estimate is, their guess is, that Bell will show up on Saturday.
“That is what it is looking like. He would be in the building, he would receive is $800,000 plus game check, not play week-one and then get ready for week-two. Plus, that would actually job with what he tweeted right in the middle of July, right after franchise tag day, after he did not accept the five year, $70 million dollar offer, that he would be there week one.”
Bell had no chance of playing even if he showed up on Saturday. But this officially begins his statement of waiting to report in order to preserve his body. It will also cost him his Week One game check of just over $855,000.
It’s entirely unclear, despite the endless speculation, when Bell will report. He’ll have until Week 10 to report to be eligible to play this season. That’s about the only fact we know about this situation.
James Conner will get the start against the Browns, the first of his NFL career. He’s had an impressive camp and preseason. Stevan Ridley and Jaylen Samuels will back him up.