Steelers' Tomlin: No contact with RB Bell


Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters Tuesday he has not been in contact with Le'Veon Bell this week and does not know when the running back will return to the team.

"I hadn't thought about it," Tomlin said when asked if he expected Bell to report Wednesday. "We'll see. ...When he gets here, that's when we'll start quantifying all Le'Veon Bell-related things: his overall readiness, the amount of time that we have between his arrival and our next competition, etc., etc."

Tomlin added he doesn't have a specific deadline in mind for Bell's arrival in order to play in Sunday's opener at the Cleveland Browns, saying that will depend on what sort of shape Bell is in when he shows up.

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The team issued a statement on Monday saying it was "disappointed" that Bell didn't report at the start of the week, as he did after holding out through the preseason last year. Bell's $14.54 million franchise tender remains unsigned, but he would begin forfeiting salary if he does not show before Sunday's game.

Asked if he's more confident about the group behind Bell on the roster this year, Tomlin quickly replied, "Yes," before praising second-year running back James Conner. Tomlin said Conner -- who had just 32 carries for 144 yards in 14 games as a rookie -- has improved in "all areas" and is in much better shape to handle a full workload.

Meanwhile, Tomlin confirmed that wide receiver Antonio Brown will be "full go" on Sunday despite battling a quad injury during the preseason. Tight end Vance McDonald is expected to return to at least a limited practice on Wednesday, with his availability for Sunday's game depending on how his injured foot responds.

--Field Level Media