If you’re worried about the number of touches that Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell has been getting through the first half of the season, then don’t be. Or, at least, Bell doesn’t think that you should be. In spite if the fact that he is on pace to have the second-most touches in a season in NFL history, he is not concerned with his workload.
His 229 touches through eight games is setting up a pace to reach 458 by the end of the year, which would just eclipse the second-highest mark of 457 that is currently on record, but it would blow past most any totals of recent vintage. DeMarco Murray, as we have noted in the past, is the only player with at least 400 touches in a season since 2010.
It would be surprising at this point if Bell does not reach that, and in my opinion will most likely mean that he has gotten injured. But the All-Pro running back is not too concerned about his workload leading to an injury the way many view last season.
He told Joe Rutter that the origins of the groin injury that ultimately resulted in him having surgery in the offseason actually date all the way back to the October loss in Miami. “I felt something and everything kind of changed”, he said.
“Over the course of the year, I got hurt just because I didn’t realize I was hurt until too late”, he told the reporter, but it’s different this season. “I’m staying on top of things now before anything ever happens, before I have any strains or tears. I’m going to stay on top of my body to make sure everything is good”.
In spite of the fact that he takes excellent care of his body on a year-round basis, it is sometimes quite difficult to have a complete understanding of how your body works and how you feel, so it isn’t out of the ordinary that he might read less into some feeling than perhaps he should have in hindsight.
Now with a team of “doctors and therapists” in tow to help him maintain his conditioning and physical health, Bell said that he is ready to get things going again, rejuvenated by the time off for the bye week. “I feel like I’m good, I’m ready to go”, he said. “I feel good, I can’t complain where I’m at right now. Over the course of the year as I continue to do what I’ve been doing, when we get to the playoffs, I should be good”.
And that figures to be the plan going forward, given that the Steelers offense has not gotten the passing game to where they need it to be. If they can run a possession offense on the ground and limit the number of total possessions by either side, that might be their best chance for success, which means ringing the Bell quite a bit.