The Steelers reportedly expect tailback Le'Veon Bell to return to the team this week, despite missing Monday's practice.
The Steelers do not expect running back Le'Veon Bell to return to the team this week, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Earlier Monday, Schefter reported that Bell was expected to return to Pittsburgh's training facility at some point this week after missing Monday's practice. However, with the Steelers observing their bye week, players will be off Thursday through Sunday, and Bell will not rejoin them prior to the break.
Bell, a three-time Pro Bowler, has held out of each of Pittsburgh's first six games over a contract dispute. He's been fined a reported $853,000 for every game he's missed, which adds up to $5,118,000 in total fines so far. Bell was scheduled to make roughly $14.5 million this year after being franchise-tagged by the Steelers this offseason.
Earlier in the month, it was originally reported that Bell intended to return to the team during its Week 7 bye. The Steelers were still listening to trade offers for the 26-year-old tailback at the time.
Last season, Bell rushed for 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns. He also caught 85 passes for 655 yards and two touchdowns.
Despite Bell's absence, the Steelers' offense currently ranks fifth in total yards per game (417.7), a season after ranking third (387.7). Pittsburgh is currently ranked 26th in rushing offense averaging 88.7 yards per game. Last season, the unit ranked 22nd in that category while averaging 102.9 yards per contest.
If Bell were to report next week, he would return in time for Pittsburgh's (3-2-1, third in AFC North) home contest against Browns on Sunday, Oct. 28.