The most recent report about running back Le'Veon Bell‘s plans for the remainder of the season have been that he plans to report to the Steelers during their Week Seven bye and play out the rest of the season with the team.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said on Tuesday that he hasn’t spoken to Bell and does not know if that is his plan, but he does know that he doesn’t think Bell should get all the work in the backfield when and if he does show up for work. During an appearance on 93.7 The Fan, Roethlisberger said James Conner should not go “on the shelf by any means.”
“Now granted, I think Le’Veon’s one of the best in the business, I think we all understand that and can agree on that,” Roethlisberger said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “But what James needs to understand — and he’s gonna say the right things, and he should [as] a younger guy with a veteran, awesome football player ahead of him — but when Le’Veon comes back, in no way, shape or form should James just say, ‘OK, it’s all yours. I’m gonna sit back and when you need me, use me.’ And I will push for James to get as much run as we can because we’ve seen some great things from him in all phases of football. He’s picking up blitzes, he’s catching the ball, he’s running hard and making plays and playing with a passion, so we need to keep using that.”
Conner has 84 carries for 342 yards and five touchdowns and 22 catches for 239 yards this season. Given that production and Bell’s long layoff, it would seem likely that he’d continue to play a role on offense should Bell decide to rejoin him on the depth chart.