Even If Healthy, Is It Wise to Start Le’Veon Bell?

While the Pittsburgh Steelers remain firmly entrenched in the “L” column, they have gone two straight games without a major injury. If nothing else the law of averages appears to be working in their favor. For the moment.

Heath Miller of course returned to the Steelers for the Bears game, and it appears that the offense is set to get another boost at the skill position with return of Le’Veon Bell.

Bell is going through practice and Mike Tomlin expects him to play. Which is good. However, word is that Bell might even start.

  • Is it really wise for the Steelers to consider starting Bell?

First there comes the question of injury. Bell is recovering from a Lisfranc injury and at such a young stage of his career one has to question whether he is being rushed back ala Robert Griffin III.

  • Beyond that, what has Bell done to earn the starting role?

Bell was the talk of the early part of training camp. But his resume includes nothing other than 4 underwhelming carries in preseason. A decision to start bell could amount to an indictment of the current roster of running backs. Neither Jonathan Dwyer, nor Felix Jones, nor Isaac Redman have done anything to stake a claim to the starting role.

But Mike Tomlin has been loathe to anoint rookies, going so far as to rotate Jonathan Scott with Flozell Adams during the 2010 preseason to avoid conferring “starter” status on Maurkice Pouncey.

  • Why change now? 

Playing Bell, assuming he’s healthy, is a wise move. But handing him the starting job, could send the wrong signal, and this worry is only reinforced by Ben Roethlisberger‘s decision to call the rookie’s preparation into question.

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