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Le’Veon Bell Down And Out

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What is it with the Pittsburgh Steelers and highly drafted running backs?

In 1989, they took Tim Worley with the seventh overall pick. I’ll forever argue Worley had the most talent of any back the team has had in the past 25 years although we’ll never know for sure because he was a drug-addled goof who never got his career on track. That he has since cleaned up his act is heartening even if it falls under the category of “Fifteen years too late.” Four years later, they took Bam Morris in the third round and he, too, pissed away a promising career due to drug abuse.

Fast forward to 2008 when the Steelers take Rashard Mendenhall in the first round. With The Bus retired and Fast Willie Parker stuck in neutral, the team thought they were getting their next workhorse back. In his first NFL start, Mendy got laid out by Ray Lewis, broke his collarbone, and was lost for the season. He never lived up to expectations and was mercifully allowed to leave via free agency

Now we have Le’Veon Bell.

Bell, this year’s second round pick, has spent more time in the tub than on the field this year. He missed the Steelers first preseason game with a sore knee. He started the team’s second preseason game but left after four carries with an undisclosed foot injury. Well, the undisclosed injury has finally been revealed.

Bell suffered the ever-popular Lisfranc injury, otherwise known as a ligament tear in the right foot. It’s the same injury that has sidelined Matt Spaeth for the bulk of training camp and eventually caused him to go under the knife. The team is saying they don’t think Bell needs surgery and should be back in about 6 weeks but he’s scheduled to seek a second opinion sometime this week.

Smart dude since we know the Steelers team doctors know who sign their paychecks…

Bell took to Twitter and Instagram to post some inspirational words and vow he’ll be back sooner rather than later. I hope he does because on a team full of underachievers and arrogant douchebags, Bell seems like somebody you want to root for.

Unfortunately, Lisfranc injuries aren’t just trendy, they’re very serious. Spaeth’s injury was initially underplayed until he had surgery and was ruled out for “8-10 weeks.” Our old friend Santonio Holmes has been battling his way back from a Lisfranc injury for almost a full year now. QB Matt Schaub had his season ended back in 2011 thanks to a Lisfranc, needing a solid four months of rehab before he could return to action.

I’ll be surprised if Bell returns by mid-season. Considering this is a rebuilding year anyway, the team would be smart not to rush him back. In his absence, Jonathan Dwyer and (hopefully) Isaac Redman will probably split carries much like last season. It’s not the way the Steelers drew it up back in April but it is what it is.

I’m going to start calling it the Curse Of Franco.