Seven weeks into the season, and Le’Veon Bell is still nowhere to be seen.
The Steelers running back has been holding out for a new contract since the preseason, and despite reports that he’d be back during the Steelers Week 7 bye, Bell is still absent.
Though Bell’s vagueness and obvious detriment to the team has turned most fan and some teammates off, one Steelers player is vouching for him – his replacement, James Conner.
“Anytime I do something good on the field, I always come back to the locker room [to] a text from him saying ‘good game’ or ‘nice move right there,’” Conner said Thursday on FS1’s “First Things First.”
“Me and Le’Veon are super cool. He’s a great person. With him holding out, people are going to call him selfish, but that’s not the case at all. It’s just business, and that’s my guy.”
That’s in line with Bell’s decision, postgame on Sunday, to shout Conner out on Twitter. He had reason to; Conner had just become the fifth NFL player to rush for at least 100 yards and two touchdowns in three of his team’s first six games of the season. The others are Chris Johnson (2010), Shaun Alexander (2005), Priest Holmes (2004) and Emmitt Smith (1995).
Whether Bell and Conner are this cool in, say, four weeks is anyone’s guess, but that’s another question for another day. Maybe we’ll never get the answer. Meantime, Conner appreciates the support he’s gotten from his teammates, which starts with Ben Roethlisberger and works its way down. With this, at least, they’re all on the same page.
“All those guys have my back. In the interviews that they [give], they believe in me every day, whether they say it on camera or not,” Conner said. “Just go in the locker room and they’re like, ‘Bro, you run hard, you’re the real deal,’ stuff like that.”
Beyond that, Conner talked about his relationship with Mike Tomlin. Also, if you’re keeping track, it looks like he dialed back the mullet. Also, there are 10 more days without actual Steelers football.