Published: Sat, September 08, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Steelers' Conner ready to shoulder load as Bell holdout continues

Steelers' Conner ready to shoulder load as Bell holdout continues

Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell refuses to sign his $14.5 million franchise tender with the season opener just days away, and his offensive linemen have had enough. Not only did the Steelers running back "like" Bleacher Report's Instagram post of Pouncey and Foster's comments, but he also left an ominous one-word reply.

It's not easy to scoff at a one-year deal worth $14.544 million, but that's exactly the contract Bell is seemingly allergic to as of the moment.

Le'Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts after a 20 yard touchdown reception in the first quarter during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field on December 10, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

This Sunday against the Browns, there will be no Bell. "They might think it's pressure, but to me, it's just football and doing my job", Conner said. Nothing is going to be handed to him, but he has a strong possibility to move the future forward with a strong performance against the Browns.

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Then there's this interesting observation (via The Athletic's Mark Kaboly) from OG David DeCastro on whether Bell would be welcomed back into the Steelers' locker room after potentially missing games: "I don't know, it's kind of awkward". While we've now seen Bell simply no-show ahead of Week 1 after holding out all offseason, followed by teammates calling the running back out, the action took another turn Thursday. Pouncey added, "A star is born every year in the NFL".

Not only is Conner cheaper, but the Steelers offense might actually end up being more successful with him in the lineup instead of Bell. Pittsburgh placed the franchise tag on Bell each time. He tore his MCL on September 5, 2015, and while rehabbing from that injury he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. "But after thinking about it for a bit, I realized that fear is a choice. I choose to fight it, and I will win".

Basically, with Bell out, Conner is going to be a pretty easy guy for National Football League fans around the country to root for.

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