Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell had surgery this month to repair the core muscle injury that knocked him out of the AFC title game and ginned up questions about why the team didn’t disclose the injury heading into the game after Bell said it had been an issue.
The injury didn’t stop the Steelers from using the franchise tag on Bell, which suggests they don’t think it will be an issue for him when the 2017 season gets underway. General Manager Kevin Colbert said on Sunday that it isn’t clear when Bell is going to be ready to resume football work, however.
“At what point does he return? The doctors, trainers and Le’Veon determine that,” Colbert said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Our goal is to have him 100 percent for the 2017 season. Whatever path the experts tell us to take with that, we will follow.”
Colbert had a similar answer when it came to the question of a long-term deal for Bell. Beyond saying the team was interested, Colbert gave no hint about when there might be an agreement.
“At what point it gets done, I can’t say,” Colbert said. “It will be a very complicated type of deal. But it always has been our goal.”
Bell is set to make $12.1 million under the terms of the franchise tag.