Sportress of Blogitude

Le’Veon Bell congratulates James Conner for player of the week honor

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner was named the FedEx Ground Player of the Week for his rushing performance last Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. And among those who congratulated him on the accomplishment was none other than disgruntled holdout and teammate Le’Veon Bell.

With Bell still away from the team over a protracted contract dispute, Conner filled in capably, rushing for 135 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries in Pittsburgh’s 21-21 tie with Cleveland.

Bell, who will once again not play in Week 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday after declining to report again this week, is said to be upset over the narrative that he would not pull for Conner and his teammates. Former NFL running back Maurice Jones-Drew said Bell told him exactly the opposite.

“[Bell] said to me ‘people think that I don’t like Pittsburgh, I don’t like James Conner, I don’t like these guys,’” Jones-Drew said, via NFL.com. “He was like yes, I was disappointed they went out and spoke about my contract, understandably so. He was like, but I still want them to do well, they’re still guys that I work with and guys that I’ve put in this extra work with — blood, sweat and tears like I still want them to do well.

“… [Bell] was happy for James Conner after that performance but that performance justifies why he’s not there right now,” MJD continued. “If you’re going to give James Conner 31 carries, imagine how many you’d give to Le’Veon Bell?”

Bell is also said to be upset that his teammates called him out and criticized him in the media over his failure to report to the team, sign his $14.54 million franchise tender and return things to some semblance of normalcy. That development is hardly surprising given how Bell reacted to those slights last week on Instagram.