With no Le’Veon Bell, James Conner earned his first career start Sunday. He didn’t disappoint, totaling nearly 200 total yards and finding the end zone twice, the key source of offense on a rainy, sloppy day.
Bell was apparently watching the game. He also reportedly spoke with former Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew afterwards. Although Bell hasn’t talked publicly, he wanted to set the record straight and clear up some misconceptions, in his mind, fans have about him.
Although he’s not currently a Steeler, he’s still rooting for the team. Jones-Drew shared part of the conversation the two shared on the Dave Dameshek podcast.
“He said to me, ‘people think I don’t like Pittsburgh. I don’t like James Conner. I don’t like these guys. Yes, I was disappointed they went out and spoke out about my contract…but I still want them to do well. They’re still guys I work with and put in this extra blood, sweat, and tears with.'”
Although it’s perfectly fine to be frustrated by Bell’s actions, especially how secretive he’s been about his plans, it’s an important point to make for Bell. It’s an issue over money, not anything else.
According to Jones-Drew, Bell said he was happy with James Conner after that performance. But Jones-Drew, though not quoting Bell, said Conner’s performance is one reason why Bell decided not to show up. Conner touched the ball 36 times; Bell could’ve had a similar workload, if not that game, then some game, and that’s the wear and tear he’s looking to avoid. Agree or not, that’s his position.
It’s still completely unknown when Bell will report. Jones-Drew said Bell told him when he’d return, meaning he has a date in mind, but MJD refused to divulge that information and said he wouldn’t share it publicly. A midseason return seems most likely but if there’s one thing we’ve learned about this whole saga, it’s that we know nothing.
Again, you can check out the whole podcast below. The Bell comments begins around the 15:00 mark. Click the link here to listen.