The Steelers are taking no chances with Le'Veon Bell, and despite the fact that he wants to do all he can for the team, he understands he can't do it all.
The Steelers' star running back torn MCL injury suffered midway through the 2015 season and is taking his recovery slowly. He stated the team would also alter his practice workload and participate in "no contact" drills for the duration of training camp.
“There are going to be times when I am upset that I can’t do everything, but I will know it’s for the better of my career," Bell recently told steelers.com. "Coach (Mike) Tomlin already told me he will take care of me. He knows I want to get in the best shape possible, so he is going to allow me to do some running, not just tackle or get hit.”
“I just want to get out there and show people what I can do with a full season in the NFL,” he said. “I just haven’t had the opportunity. I want to take care of my body and do things right. I am just going to continue to do that.
When healthy, Bell has been arguably the best running back in all of football. Bell amassed 2,315 total yards while finishing as the AFC rushing champion in 2014. And despite missing the first two games of the 2015 season (Bell was serving a two-game suspension for driving under the influence of marijuana), he was the NFL's rushing leader before tearing his MCL in Pittsburgh's Week 8 loss to Cincinnati.
His motivation for next season is to finally play in a full 16 game season for the first time in his young career.
“I just think it was a bad luck thing. It’s not like nagging injuries; it’s more misfortune. I am taking care of my body. I just have to keep doing that. I just need to be smarter and get down to the ground safely. I look back on it now and everything happens for a reason. I am just trying to get my knee back and stronger than before. That is what it’s going to take for me to be back to the level where I was.”
One thing that bother Bell more than anything is the fact that he has been unable to play in a single postseason game in his career as of yet. This is something he hopes to change come the 2016 season.
"Watching every game was hard," Bell said. "When they were in the postseason, and I knew they had the team that could do it, then DeAngelo [Williams] got hurt, Antonio Brown got hurt, the injuries kept piling on. I felt like if everyone was healthy we could have gone on and won the Super Bowl.”
Bell, who began running at the start of the month, is using all these factors as motivation to have the best season of his career.
“It’s been a long time since I ran out of the tunnel, got ready for a game, listened to my pregame music,” Bell said. “I can only imagine how I am going to feel. I know some people will look forward to seeing me back playing. I look forward to getting back. I can't wait to play. That is going to get me even more amped up."
We can't wait to see it.
Images Courtesy of Keystone Press