Sportress of Blogitude

Mike Tomlin on when Le’Veon Bell is expected to report: ‘We’ll see’

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin once again made it clear on Tuesday that the team is focused solely on the players present, not Le’Veon Bell, who continues to be away from the team with less than a week remaining before the season opener.

Tomlin’s comments were relayed by NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala via Twitter. The Steelers head coach was asked whether Bell is expected to report to the team on Wednesday.

As noted, Tomlin is more inclined to get the players at the team’s facility prepared for Sunday’s showdown with the division-rival Cleveland Browns.

“When he gets here, that’s when we’ll start quantifying all Le’Veon Bell related things,” Tomlin told reporters.

Bell skipped the Steelers’ offseason program and the entirety of training camp for the second year in a row. The 26-year-old all-purpose back Bell ultimately rejoined the Steelers last season the Monday ahead of the team’s Week 1 game. Bell has not yet signed the franchise-tag tender that will pay him $14.544 million in 2018, however.

Bell, playing on the franchise tag for $12.12 million, enjoyed a solid 2017 campaign despite his late arrival, although it did include a slow start. Bell failed to notch a 100-yard rushing game until Week 4. He did finish with 1,291 yards, though, good for third in the NFL.

Tomlin has exhibited impatience with Bell-related questions all offseason, so the tone of Tuesday’s comments are hardly surprising. It appears while Bell’s teammates generally support him in his contract impasse, there is a growing sense of frustration among Steelers players as the regular season draws nearer and Bell’s ongoing absence looms larger.