Steelers giving Le’Veon Bell an unprecedented workload

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Le'Veon Bell has been the Steelers’ starting running back since they drafted him in 2013, but he’s never been the kind of workhorse he is this year.

Bell has 220 carries through nine games, which puts him on pace for 391 carries on the season. Bell’s previous career high was 290 carries, which he totaled in 2014. Throw in Bell’s 40 catches and he’s on pace to finish the season with 462 total touches, far exceeding his previous high of 373, also set in 2014.

Bell has 50 more touches than Ezekiel Elliott, who has the second-most touches in the NFL this season, and his lead over Elliott will obviously grow during Elliott’s six-game suspension. No team in the league is featuring any player anywhere close to as much as the Steelers are featuring Elliott.

On his current pace, Bell would finish the season with the second-most touches in NFL history, second only to James Wilder, who had 492 touches with the 1984 Buccaneers. That’s a huge workload, and one that might leave Bell banged up heading into the offseason — when he becomes a free agent.

14 responses to “Steelers giving Le’Veon Bell an unprecedented workload

  1. The goal of team sports is winning, not setting players up for free agency. If Bell has concerns about his usage, he can easily tell the coaching staff. If the team believes using certain players more than others is in the best interests of the club, the discussion is over. If Bell has any residue effects of this season heading into the 2019 campaign, that’s football.

  2. in most years prior, Bells carries were limited based on injuries and suspensions. So looking at the total per year is apples to oranges. 2014 was the ONLY prior year where he played in all 16 games.

  3. Gonna wear him out. Gonna DeMarco him. He won’t get a long term deal. Use him up and spit him out, find another one. Repeat! There’s no long-term commitment to a guy who is 1 failed test from a season long ban.

  4. TheGuru is right, the Steelers don’t intend to make him the highest paid RB next year, so they’ll use him up in ’17. Buyer beware :(.

  5. He needs to contact Brady and get on his TB12 program. Pliable muscles help insulate the body against injury and are more resilient.

  6. I see no problem with this.
    Hey Florio…Bell is being paid $12 MILLION this year.
    Get every penny of work out og Bell…what is wrong with that?

    If your argument is the short lifetime of RBs in the NFL, which you use to advocate for huge salaries for RBs, then I can use the same on behalf of the team.
    It goes both ways.
    Plus Bell is a drug suspension risk, let’s not forget that.

  7. “No team in the league is featuring any player anywhere close to as much as the Steelers are featuring Elliott.”
    Well, Steelers are going to lose because Elliot is suspended and out of the country. 🙂

  8. I don’t understand why they can’t get Conner a few more carries a game. Get him some game experience in case history repeats itself and they lose bell at some point.

  9. Without Bell the Steelers offense would be a lot worse than the average they are right now. Roethlisberger is really starting to show his age, which is probably why he whined and cried about playing on Thursday nights. I wonder if he’ll be using a walker tonight?

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