Le’Veon Bell says he’s been playing through groin injury

AP

Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell said the groin injury that knocked him out of last night’s AFC Championship Game had been bothering him for weeks.

Last night, it became more than he could bear.

I had no burst anymore,” Bell said, via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com.

Bell ran five times, left limping, and tried to come back for a sixth. He finished with 20 yards. He said the injury became worse on his second carry, and he could tell he wasn’t himself.

“I felt like I was holding the team back,” Bell said. “It’s real disappointing. We work so hard to get here. I felt like I had done a lot to help us get here. To not play and not go to battle with my teammates, it hurt.”

If Bell was hurting previously it was hard to tell, as he had 167 yards against the Dolphins and 170 against the Chiefs in the playoffs, on a combined 59 carries.

That followed a remarkable regular season in which he had 1,884 yards from scrimmage on 335 touches, despite missing three games with a suspension and sitting out Week 17.