Le'Veon Bell Injury: Updates on Steelers RB's Knee and Return

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 7:  Le'Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs the ball in for a touchdown during the fourth quarter of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on December 7, 2014 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Pittsburgh defeated Cincinnati 42-21. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery to repair his right knee, which was injured in Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Though he avoided a torn ACL, Bell did do damage to his MCL and other areas of his knee.

Continue for updates. 

Bell Undergoes Surgery, Reported Timeline for Return Revealed

Sunday, Nov. 8

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported, "Bell underwent his season-ending knee surgery Friday. MCL and PCL repair. ACL did not need attention. On target for [a September 2016] return." He added, "Timeline for Bell couldn't be determined until they got in [the] knee [on Friday]. Bell [is] in tremendous shape. Will be managed [through the] preseason, hope for Week 1."

Head coach Mike Tomlin announced on Nov. 3 that Bell's ACL was intact, per Dale Lolley of the Observer-Reporter.

Bell Placed on IR

Monday, Nov. 2

The Steelers announced Bell has been placed on season-ending injured reserve because of Sunday's injury.

Pead Signed to Replace Bell

Monday, Nov. 2

The Steelers announced the signing of Isaiah Pead. Pead last played with the St. Louis Rams and has appeared in 27 games, rushing for a total of 78 yards on 19 attempts in his career.

Bell Comments on Knee Injury

Sunday, Nov. 1

"I appreciate the concern and support from everybody who's sent me [texts], tweets, phone calls, etc.," Bell tweeted after the Steelers' 16-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. "I'll be [OK], love [you] all!"

Bell Carted off for Medical Testing

Sunday, Nov. 1

"Bell is unable to put any weight at all on his right leg. In obvious distress as he is carried to training table behind bench," noted La Canfora after Bell's injury. Bell later left the stadium for evaluation and was downgraded to out, per Burt Lauten of the Steelers.

NFL Network's Jeff Darlington and NFL on CBS captured a photo of the tackle when Bell got hurt:

Williams Replaces Bell in Backfield Once Again

Bell missed the first two games of the campaign because of a league suspension. The dynamic dual-threat back hasn't missed a regular-season contest because of injury since the first three games of his rookie year in 2013, when he was sidelined by a foot problem.

DeAngelo Williams figures to handle the starting role for Pittsburgh. He'll likely get most of the touches, but Jordan Todman could see some additional snaps in the backfield as well. Prior to exiting against the Bengals, Bell carried the ball 10 times for 45 yards and added 13 yards on two receptions. 

Any time he's on the shelf, it further illustrates his value to the Steelers offense. His ability to make virtually every play, whether it's running between the tackles, getting to the edge or catching passes out of the backfield, makes him a top-tier option at the position.

Of course, the offense can't be expected to produce anywhere near its usual level until Bell is back to full strength. He's a unique weapon who can't be fully replaced.