The Pittsburgh Steelers are inching closer to the expected return of star running back Le'Veon Bell, which has created more dialogue around the starting running back spot once he's back in the fold.
James Conner, Bell's erstwhile backup, has long since left the realm of great human interest story and entered that of the NFL's best running backs. Reports originally indicated that Bell would join the team at some point during its week off, meaning he has the whole week to show up.
Further complicating matters is that Pittsburgh has a bye in Week 7, which means Bell may not be in any rush to come back.
Sources told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler earlier this month that Bell meant to report to the Steelers during the Week 7-8 time frame.
Despite that statement, as of Sunday, Bell had still not been in touch with team officials or players, sources told Schefter. Bell was scheduled to make roughly $14.5 million this year after being franchise-tagged by the Steelers this offseason. But this upcoming week also will be a bye week for the Steelers, who will be off Thursday and Friday because of the mandate in the collective bargaining agreement that says players must have four consecutive days off during their bye week.