Sun, 26 May 2019

NFL notebook: Steelers RB Bell will not play this season

Sports Xchange
14 Nov 2018, 10:16 GMT+10

Running back Le'Veon Bell did not sign his Pittsburgh Steelers franchise tender by Tuesday's deadline as stipulated under the collective bargaining agreement, which means Bell will sit out the entire season.

Bell will not earn the $14.45 million he was scheduled to make under the tag, and it is unlikely he will ever play for the Steelers again.

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert issued the following statement after the deadline:

"I want to confirm that Le'Veon Bell did not sign his franchise tender today and, as a result, he will not be eligible to play football during the 2018 season."

At this point, the Steelers could either let Bell go as a free agent or place him under a transition tag, which is a one-year tender that would be applied in February and would let Bell sign an offer sheet with another team that the Steelers could match to keep him.

Bell had been selected to the Pro Bowl three times and was named a first-team All-Pro twice, including 2017, when he rushed for 1,291 yards and caught 85 passes for 655 yards.

--Steelers running back James Conner appears to be ready to return to the field.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin confirmed that Conner remained in concussion protocol on Tuesday afternoon, but told reporters that the 23-year-old's participation in Wednesday's practice will "lay those discussions (about his availability) to bed."

--The Monday night showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams will not be played at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City as scheduled.

The league announced that the game will be played at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Monday, Nov. 19, because the playing surface at Estadio Azteca did not meet NFL standards.

There had been concerns about the field throughout the day.

The field conditions are reportedly "a mess" due to soccer matches as well as concerts, which raised concern about player safety for the NFL game.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that players from both teams were "seriously considering" not playing if the field was as bad as described.

--Former Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson is making a familiar trek across the Buckeye State.

Jackson is joining the Cincinnati Bengals' coaching staff as a special assistant to the head coach, effective immediately, the team announced.

It will mark the third stint with the Bengals for the 53-year-old Jackson, who was fired by the Browns on Oct. 29 after compiling a 3-36-1 record over two-plus seasons with the team.

The Bengals fired defensive coordinator Teryl Austin on Monday after a 51-14 blowout loss to the high-octane New Orleans Saints.

--Detroit Lions punter Sam Martin said he has no lingering issues from the chest injury that sent him to the hospital following this weekend's loss to the Chicago Bears.

Martin also said that he expects to play for the Lions (3-6) in their home game versus the Carolina Panthers (6-3) on Sunday.

The 28-year-old Martin was injured after being blocked by Bears wide receiver Joshua Bellamy during the third quarter of Sunday's game. He remained on the ground for several moments before making his way back to the sideline.

Martin was taken via ambulance to a Chicago-area hospital, with the NFL Network reporting that he was coughing up blood at one point. The 6-foot-1, 211-pound Martin was later discharged and flew home with the team.

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