Le’Veon Bell Worried Steelers Will Overuse Him When He Returns From Holdout

Le'Veon Bell's holdout is one of the biggest storylines in the NFL right now, and it's anybody's guess when it will end, or if the Pittsburgh Steelers will look to trade their star running back.

But according to former Pro Bowl running back and current NFL Now analyst Maurice Jones-Drew, one reason Bell's holding out is because he's concerned about being overworked by the Steelers.

"[Bell] was happy for James Conner after that performance, but that performance justifies why he's not there right now," Jones-Drew said on the Dave Dameshek Football Program. "If you're going to give James Conner 31 carries, imagine how many you'd give to Le'Veon Bell."

So it may not be all about the money for Bell, who missed out on making $853,000 in Sunday's Week 1 contest with the Cleveland Browns. The game ended in a 21-21 tie, but it's hard to pinpoint Pittsburgh's poor offensive performance on Bell's absence.


Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

James Conner filled in nicely for Bell, finishing with 31 carries for 135, two touchdowns and five receptions for 57 yards. Bell is one of the biggest workhorses in the NFL, and it would make sense to give him fewer carries if he returns, especially considering how well Conner played in Week 1.

In 2017, Bell had 321 carries for 1,291 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, but he was also extremely productive as a pass-catcher. Bell finished with 85 receptions for 655 yards and a pair of touchdown catches. He missed four games in 2017, but had a whopping 261 carries and a total of 75 receptions.

Bell is by far the best all-around running back in the NFL when on the field, and if being overworked is his main concern, the Steelers should promise to cut back on the workload. Running backs today barely play at high levels once the reach their 30s, and Bell is 26.

It may be in the best interest of the Steelers to have Bell on the field, but to also watch his workload. And considering how talented Conner looks, it makes sense to give him the necessary carries as well.


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