Welcome back to Le’Veon Bell Week here at ToteStillers! When we last met, the Black and Gold’s rookie sensation had yet to play in an actual game due to a bothersome knee injury. An injury Bell exacerbated yesterday during practice when he fell into a pile and came up (after several minutes lying on the turf) limping. Only a few minutes earlier, co-starter Isaac Redman also left the field after getting KTFO by Larry Foote.
Meanwhile, running back isn’t the only position to get struck by the injury bug. Projected starting cornerback Cortez Allen had his knee scoped a couple weeks back. Willie Gay started in his place last Saturday and he wasted no time in showing why Allen is the expected starter by letting Victor Cruz blow right by him on an inside seam route for an easy TD.
So what’s the latest on the Pittsburgh Steelers injured players? Take it away, Coach T:
“We’ll continue to march those guys back hopefully toward participation, but we’ll simply take it day-by-day,” sayeth Mike Tomlin.
What does that mean? Your guess is as good as mine. I think Tomlin is trying to say they’re easing them back into practice but it’s going to be a gradual process. Although with his unique brand of vague doublespeak, it could just as easily mean they’re all lost for the season.
Both Bell and Redman returned to practice on Friday. According to Tomlin, Bell “got a clean bill of health, so it’s time to get back out here and start the process of readying himself for the game like all other healthy men,” which I’m fairly certain is code for “He needs to start practicing before we put him in a game.” Bell missed the first preseason game because he didn’t practice like the “other healthy men” so if he doesn’t kick it into gear, we may not see him on Monday night against the Redskins. Redman’s stinger has been changed to a pinched nerve in the shoulder which probably rules him out for Monday night.
Elsewhere, Allen has finally resurfaced after the aforementioned knee surgery. He still hasn’t returned to practice but he is running sprints and taking part in coverage drills. That’s good news even if neither of those activities require him to strap on the pads. I’ll be surprised if Allen is ready by week one although barring a setback, it does appear they’ll get him back some time within the first month of the season. When you’re dealing with a frighteningly thin secondary, that’s some welcome news indeed.