Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell is reportedly unlikely to rejoin the team by Tuesday's deadline, making him ineligible to play this season, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Bell must report to Pittsburgh by 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday in order to maintain eligibility to play this season. On Thursday, Steelers owner Art Rooney II told Sirius XM Radio that he expected Bell to return, despite not hearing from Bell.
Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Steelers want Bell to return to the club, however, it is no longer expecting him back. Bell, 26, would instead wait until free agency before signing a new contract.
Bell was scheduled to make $14.5 million this season. The two-time All-Pro missed out on making roughly $855,000 each week he sat out. Optimism around Bell's potential return increased after he was reportedly spotted at a Pittsburgh LA Fitness earlier this week. He also posted a pair of upside-down tweets addressing his holdout.
In January, Bell said he "would definitely consider" sitting out the entire 2018 campaign or retiring if he was franchise tagged for a second consecutive season by Pittsburgh.