As Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell continues to stay away from the team in advance of the first game of the regular season, his teammates have provided fairly stunning on-the-record criticism of Bell’s failure to show up. At least one teammate has provided a clearly stunning off-the-record assessment of the situation.
“One veteran Steeler told me players waited a day to criticize Bell to give him a chance to come in Wednesday but ‘he f—ed us,'” reports Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.
Bell’s plan isn’t clear, but the comments that have come on Wednesday surely require his agent, Adisa Bakari, to re-evaluate things. If Bell will be facing something other than a warm welcome when he returns, he may not want to return any time soon, if at all.
Then there’s the question of whether this parade of negative remarks was instigated in any way by the team, or whether it just happened organically. Reading between the lines of the various comments, it’s possible that the players believed that Bell would be back this week, possibly because he told them that. Now that he’s not there, they believe it’s fair game to call him out, despite the general sense that players should not get between other players and their money.
For his part, Bell has been silent in recent days. We’ll see if he remains silent, now that so many of his teammates aren’t.