The calamities which decimated the Pittsburgh Steelers secondary early in the preseason have now befallen the team’s running backs. Pick a back, any back, and I have an injury for you.
LaRod Stephens-Howling has some sort of MCL sprain. Both Baron Batch and Isaac Redman are recovering from stingers. Le’Veon Bell has a Lisfranc injury or unknown severity. At this point, fumble-prone Jonathan Dwyer is the last man standing.
Bell is by far the biggest loss. We saw what the other guys could do last season with the word “mediocrity” immediately springing to mind. That’s why the Steelers took Bell in the second round and why Bell was slated to be the team’s featured back. In the unintentional comedy department, the team’s unofficial propaganda machine aka the Post-Gazette, posted that Bell’s injury “is not as serious as the team initially feared, but he could be out up to six weeks because of a small ligament tear in his right foot.”
Bell’s prognosis is evidently so positive, the Steelers traded OLB/special teams specialist Adrian Robinson to the Eagles for running back Felix Jones.
Jones isn’t a whole lot to get a excited about. He was taken 22nd overall by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2008 draft, one pick ahead of fellow bust Rashard Mendenhall. In his five year career, Jones has never rushed for 1,000 yards, surpassing the 700 yard mark only once. His rushing TD totals the past three seasons read 1, 1, and 3. He’s a decent pass catcher out of the backfield, averaging about 30 catches per year over that span. Jones also offers some special teams flexibility as a kickoff returner with a 98 yard TD on his resume.
No word if Jones is going to be here and in uniform for tonight’s preseason game against the Redskins. I tend to think we won’t be seeing him until next week. It’s for the best, anyway, since at the rate the Steelers are going, if he played he’d probably just get hurt. In fact, if I were them, I’d seriously consider yanking Dwyer after the first series.
Unless you want to see them start the season with the epic one-two punch of Felix Jones and Alvester Alexander.