Report: NFL to investigate Steelers for Le'Veon Bell injury report
January 27, 2017 4:00 PM
AP Photo/Steven Senne
Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell watches from the sideline at the end of the AFC championship Sunday in Foxborough, Mass.
By Ray Fittipaldo / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The NFL is looking into whether the Steelers failed to list running back Le’Veon Bell on the injury report last week in advance of the AFC championship against the Patriots, according to a report by ESPN.
Bell said after the game and coach Mike Tomlin confirmed after the game that Bell had been “managing” a groin injury in the previous weeks. Bell, who didn’t miss a practice all season, began to take Wednesdays off during the playoffs, but with a “not injury related” designation on the injury report.
NFL now looking into whether the Steelers failed to list RB Le'Veon Bell properly on injury report last week, per league official.
The only day Bell practiced during the week before the AFC title game was Friday.
“He was doing a great job of managing it,” Tomlin said Tuesday at his season-ending news conference. “It didn’t cause him to miss any practice time, let alone game time. It was just something to manage. I think when you look at the journey that is the season, I think that just about every guy down there is dealing with and managing something in an effort to stay on the grass. I was aware of it. But it wasn’t significant to the point where it affected planning or the anticipation of planning in any way. It was unfortunate that it became an issue in-game. But it wasn’t something that was on our radar from that perspective.”
Tomlin later said he would have to list almost every player on the 53-man roster on the injury report late in the season because most players are dealing with some type of injury at that stage of the season.
“Just about everybody in that locker room has things they’re managing in an effort to stay on the field,” he said. “To my estimation, he was managing it extremely well. It didn’t cause him to miss any practice reps, so I didn’t list it. But I can go down a myriad of other people that have similar things they were working to manage.”
The NFL also is looking into whether the Seahawks violated the injury policy by failing to list an injury to Richard Sherman.
The Steelers will argue the injury did not adversely affect Bell in previous weeks when he rushed for 167 and 170 yards against the Dolphins and Chiefs, both franchise records.
NOTES — The Steelers signed another exclusive rights free agent to a one-year tender. Safety Jordan Dangerfield, who played in 13 games and started two, accepted his league minimum offer. ... The Steelers also signed linebacker Farrington Huguenin to a futures contract.
Ray Fittipaldo: email@example.com and Twitter @rayfitt1.
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