Being a sports fan in the age of Twitter is a double-edged sword. On the on hand, the immediacy gives you a chance to commiserate on every blown call or missed opportunity like your watching the game at the world’s biggest Buffalo Wild Wings (minus the cute waitresses). The drawback to Twitter is when something bad happens, word spreads fast. And true to our nature as Pittsburgh sports fans, we tend to take bad news with an extra helping of doom and gloom.
As I was tweeting away during yesterday’s excruciating loss by the Pittsburgh Pirates, my antenna went up when I saw news about an injury at Steelers practice. Nominal starting running back Isaac Redman went down with some sort of injury. Okay, bad news but nothing to get too upset about. Not five minutes later another alert flashed across my iPhone – rookie Le’Veon Bell was also down and he wasn’t getting up.
Cue alarm bells…
The Steelers were running a full contact practice when Larry Foote nailed Redman. Oh the sweet irony of a guy who never gets a good lick on anyone taking out one of his own teammates. Anyway, Redzone hit the ground hard and came up with what the team is calling a stinger. Coach Mike Tomlin later told reporters he expects Redman back on the field as soon as his strength returns.
Bell’s situation, however, is where the big flashing “Warning” button gets all lit up. Bell, who missed the Steelers’ first preseason game with a balky knee, was running a stretch play when crashed into a big pile of players along the sideline. For several agonizing minutes, he laid there on the field as reporters at practice live-tweeted updates seemingly every thirty seconds. Bell eventually got to his feet and gingerly walked off the field.
A short while later, Bell was seen on the sidelines with his knee heavily taped and walking with a noticeable limp. Naturally, Tomlin was in full spin mode, telling reporters he has no worries about Bell’s health. Well, I am definitely concerned about Bell.
Yesterday, I talked about the state of the running backs. Bell was just named co-starter which I found curious since he has yet to carry the ball once this preseason. Now, it appears we can update his “balky” knee to a full blown injury of unknown severity. An injury which has struck Bell down despite his not having actually played a single snap.
If he can barely get out of camp with any semblance of health intact, how’s he gonna be a workhorse back averaging 25-30 carries during the regular season? I’m worried. And if he misses Monday’s second preseason game against Washington, I have a feeling the Steelers will be, too.