It seems like the Steelers 2012 Draft Class has set an unwelcome precedent in the form of preseason injury. The Steelers first and third round picks David DeCastro and Sean Spence saw their rookie season’s ruined by injuries suffered in preseason games.
Now the same is threatening to happen to Le’Veon Bell, the Steelers 2nd round pick from the 2013 NFL draft who, without so much as a preseason touch, found himself listed as a co-starter along side Issac Redman.
Early in the day the Steeler announced that they were seeking a second opinion on Bell’s MRI and today Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Tweeted this news:
Jay Glazier reporting steelers believe Bell has Lisfranc but hope no surgery needed. TE Matt Spaeth had surgery for Lisfranc, out 8-10 wks
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) August 21, 2013
The fact that the source of the news is Jay Glazer is important, as Glazer is reported to have a close friendship with Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. The early word is that Bell will not need surgery, unlike tight end Matt Spaeth. Spaeth also suffered a Lisfranc injury and is expected to miss 8-10 weeks.
Move Impacts the Steelers Early Season Roster
Even if Bell is able to make a return to health to salvage something of his rookie year, his injury already will have an adverse impact on the Steelers early season roster.
If a player goes in injured reserve prior to the season, he is lost for the year. For that reason the Steelers are not putting Spaeth on IR nor are they likely to add Bell.
But that means they’ll have to carry both men on their opening day 53 man roster. Last year the Steelers opened the year with James Harrison and Rashard Mendenhall on their active roster, but neither man could play.
The move will also make for interesting roster choices. Rumor has it that either Jonathan Dwyer or Redman would be cut (which would have been a mistake), now both will likely stay. LaRod Stephens-Howling will likely stay. That leaves four running backs with Bell, not including full back Will Johnson.
Baron Batch would seem to be the odd man out, but his value as a special teams player and a blocker who can help protect Ben Roethlisberger behind what has been a leaky offensive line could make him hard to part with….
Suffice to say Steelers running backs coach Kirby Wilson has a lot on his mind….